While I’m on my internet fast, I give you this:
Yeah, I’ll be getting that. I’m still playing the hell out of LOTR, trying to be a completist, so I guess I have until next Giftmas to wrap it up.
Now that season one of Veronica Mars is over, the family finally had a chance to play RACE TO ADVENTURE, which I backed as a Kickstarter.
Here’s the layout near the start of the game. Of course I played Prof. Khan.
You can see I’ve collected the passports for the USA and Switzerland, while to the right my son has collected USA and GB. However! I am about to collect Nepal in that very turn, while my son was hoarding clues at the Library of Congress.
Yeah, that’s my kid giving the thumbs up.
My wife… I’m not sure what she was doing. Let’s just say she had a busy day and wasn’t concentrating too well.
Here we are at the end of the game, when I had returned to the Century Club, said (house rule: no shouting) “I have returned!” and won the game.
The others also collected all of their passports (and rescued the prisoner from Atlantis) but, having saved Egypt for last, they were still cursed. They were also way behind. Mwah-ah-ah-ah!
As for the game, it was terrific. I think I’d like to play it once or twice more on the tan side of the tiles before flipping them to the more advanced “shadow” game. We stumbled a little bit with the rules at first, like we do with every game, but by the end the turns were flying by. This might be the first game ever that says it takes 30 minutes to play and really means it.
The nice thing is that there’s no luck involved (no blowing your plans because of a lousy roll of the die) and the strategy elements were light but still effective. It’ll be a good fast game when we just want to play something fun without a ton of calculation.
On a day when the news was filled with blood, horror, and people coming together to help each other in dire need, it was good to sit with my family and play a game.
According to the UPS tracking website, sometime today a person in a brown uniform will pitch a box at my front door and run off without seeing where it lands, and inside that box will be a copy of Race to Adventure.
That’s my Kickstarter reward arriving, but the good news is that you can order one for yourself if you like. If you don’t know what that is, it’s the board game based on the rpg that also spawned my next novel, KING KHAN which means that the protagonist of my book should be a playable character.
Remember last week when I mentioned that I had taken my family to an EMP event to see a specific panel and the room was so packed we missed it? No? Well, you better click on that link then.
I never did get an email back, but I did get a phone call. The dude was quite apologetic and very nice. Unfortunately, there was no recording of the event; apparently the companies many of the presenters work for had a bug up their butt about what could be recorded and what art they were going to show. Understandable, really, except that the panel we wanted was two local educators, so I suspect they would have been cool with a camcorder or two, but never mind. It’s done.
On the plus side, EMP intends to refund the cost of the tickets.
That’s very nice of them. While they might have made an error in planning their event, their customer service was pretty great.
On Twitter, @JoshDaws asked me to explain my reasons for not buying my son an Xbox and I figured it was too involved to do it in a few 140-character messages, so I’m putting it here.
Everyone is a consumer. Everyone consumes culture of some kind, whether it’s radio, TV, games, books, movies, theater, whatever. For some people, it’s Honey Boo Boo. For others, it’s sitting on an overturned bucket in a warehouse while they watch a play about women in Afghanistan. For others, it’s that one Merle Haggard album they just can’t get enough of. And for still others, it’s a whole weekend shooting zombies on the Xbox.
Now, I don’t have a problem with any of this, right? God forbid, considering some of the movies I’ve wasted portions of my life on. Consume what you want. Enjoy it. With my son, he’s latched onto things that I thought were dumb enough to kill brain cells (like Garfield books) and other things that were mostly a waste of time. But he enjoys them and I don’t want to make a big deal out of it.
However! When he came to me to say he wanted to buy an Xbox–with his own money–I told him he couldn’t. (FYI: he’s 11.) He was pretty upset (and is still trying to wear us down) but I was adamant. It’s not that I dislike video games. He has some right now and has played them ever since he was small; Minecraft is his current obsession. Yes, it can be difficult for him to stop when we ask him to, but that’s true of any kid doing any activity that they love. We also have a Wii (which was supposed to be used for the Wii Fit, but nevermind) although he doesn’t much like the games we have.
It’s not that the games are violent. There are plenty of sweet, non-violent puzzle/platform/whatever games. Besides, we’ve watched every episode of Burn Notice and he’s played Call of Duty (and #2) on the iMac.
The question is: how much of his life is spent consuming, and how much is spent creating?
See, when he was small, he would spend hours making things. As a toddler he would make endless lines of tiny blocks all through the apartment. As he got older, he made comic books, then baked goods, then finally short animated Lego movies.
And they were all terrible. The comics, actually, had some effective layout and design, but the food he made was a random mix of whatever he could grab and it tasted like poison. “For you, Mom!” (and she would always taste it.)
The Lego shorts were always busy but there was never a plot that made sense, half the snaps would be out of focus.
They were good for his age–actually, they were excellent for his age. Look at the “novel” of his I published last year on the blog; I couldn’t write with that much verve at his age.
But he lost all that when he went to school. The biggest lesson he took from public school is that “fun”, “projects”, and “learning” are all separate categories. He still likes to make things, but only in Minecraft and it’s been a long time since he set aside several hours to create something. At best, he’s been putting in an hour or two a couple times a week with Garageband to make electronic music.
I don’t much care what he wants to do with his time, as long as he spends a good portion of it making things. Any asshole can spend every weekend of his life shooting baddies in a video game (and I’ve been that asshole, sometimes). I want him to have more than that. It’s not enough just to consume products made by some corporation, even if they’re cool products. He has to turn that around, too.
To that end, we’ve suspended regular homeschooling so he can work with me on a “book trailer” for THE WAY INTO CHAOS. We’re shooting it in our living room with Lego figures. It’s completely inappropriate for the tone of the novel, if you know what I mean, and would be terrible marketing if I were remotely impressed by the marketability of trailers anyway.
Still, it’s a project. He’s throwing himself into it with his old enthusiasm, and I love him for it. I just wish we could return to the days when this was a habit.
Anyway, that’s why I won’t let him buy an Xbox. He has games already, and Netflix, and DVDs from the library, and books, too. That’s a lot of opportunities to consume. I don’t think he needs enough to fill his whole life.
Last night I took my wife and son to the Experience Music Project for the opening night of their “Game Nite” exhibit, which is their new video game project, I guess. Let’s start by saying it didn’t go well.
My wife has zero interest in video games at all, and I really enjoy them but try to keep my distance. I can be a little obsessive about things, and video games sometimes take over my whole life. However, my son loves them and has been making noises about creating some. Unsurprisingly, we want to support that.
The main feature of opening night was a series of talks given by game professionals and educators who teach game-making. That page is gone from EMP’s website but you can see the Google cache while it lasts. We were especially interested in this one:
So You Want to Make a Video Game?
Raymond Yan, Senior Executive at DigiPen Institute of Technology
Jason Pace, Executive Director at University of Washington Center for Serious Play
Now, I know there are resources online for creating games. I’ve looked. We were especially interested here because it was two guys who were local to us and because they would have a chance to bounce ideas off each other. I wanted to see a contrast between them. I also wanted to ask questions.
To that end, we skipped the tour of the actual games and got in line early for the keynote speech. We even got ourselves some good seats. The keynote was fine if not life-changing.
Unfortunately, because there was a line of people waiting to get in to the theater, they make the audience exit the room and get back at the end of the line. Because we had good seats we were one of the last out. The line went around two corners and up a flight of stairs.
We did not get into the one panel we most wanted to see.
Much of our time was spent standing beside game stations waiting to play one of the DigiPen games on offer. All the games were made as student projects and they are all hand-coded–no engines at all. You can play any of the games in their gallery for free. Most of the kids were playing a driving game I didn’t learn the name of, but “Solace” and “Nous” were other good ones.
My son did get to play some and so did I. My wife was interested in eavesdropping on some of the sound designs but nothing more beyond that. However, the largest portion of our time was spent playing a board game in the lounge. Pandemic. Damn, that’s a great game.
Anyway, I sent an email to EMP pointing out how frustrating it is to drop $35 on an event and then be barred from the think you most wanted to do. With luck they’ll post video of the event and someone will have asked the questions I wanted to ask.
It’s no secret to anyone who follows me on Twitter (@byharryconnolly) that at one time I was talking about licensing the Twenty Palaces books for a tabletop rpg. It’s also no secret that I told the company they shouldn’t bother: the series had already failed and no new books would be coming out to support the game release.
What’s more, I wanted to move on. I was pretty bummed that Twenty Palaces didn’t do well (still am, in fact) and I had no desire to go in-depth on the way the magic worked or the history of the Twenty Palace Society. It felt like dragging a dying dog outside to force him to chase a stick.
What I suggested to them and to others, was that they should just file off the serial numbers and release something similar. It’s what I did with the books themselves; I dumped the tentacles and the consonant-salad names to recreate Lovecraft after all.
I’m extremely pleased to say they did.
Now, it’s not *actually* a Twenty Palaces rpg, but it’s as close as anyone is going to come. If you pop over to that Kickstarter, you can download the game rulebook for a donation as low as $1. The only thing the core rulebook won’t have is the artwork (which is what the Kickstarter is about).
Once you have that, you can also download the “Magic System Toolkit” which has just been made available today in Update 19. The toolkit is a short demonstration of how to create different magic systems (5 of them) within the Fate rules, and the last one, Void Callers, is very similar to the Twenty Palaces system. I even played a (very small) part in spitballing ideas for one of the listed
predators malign creatures who can be summoned from the void.
So, there isn’t going to be a Twenty Palaces game you can play, but this is as close as you’re likely to get, and it only costs a dollar for the pdfs. Of course, if you pledge at a higher amount, you’ll also get a Fate book called “Crime World” from LEVERAGE co-creator/writer John Rogers about grifting and stealing, along with a lot of other stuff.
Let’s start by saying this was a Card Kingdom Giftmas. Between the three of us, we must have dropped almost $600 there for card and board games, plus the never-ending Pokemon purchases. Curious what we got? Here’s a pic.
Except that’s not everything. We forgot to include HIVE, which is a two-player game best described as “nature chess” except with fewer pieces and no board. The other game we forgot is FRIDAY, a solo deck-building game about a Pacific Islander who finds himself saddled with a hapless European shipwrecked on the island. You have to teach him how to survive and defeat pirates (by building the deck) in order to rid yourself of him. 
Also, the pic does not include the Pokemon stuff we go, including an entire booster box which went over… well, see footnote 1.
We haven’t played all the games yet, but there isn’t a dud among them. Some of the new Dominion cards are brutal, Munchkin Apocalypse is just as funny as the base game, and Guillotine is a surprise favorite.
Dixit is great but will play better with four players. 7 Wonders promises to be great fun but we shouldn’t have tried to play it when we were so exhausted. And even though Gloom promises to be great fun, I would have never bought it if I’d known the cards smelled like perfume. It’s a sunny day today, maybe I’ll air them out outside.
We finally replaced our ailing 19″ CRT television with a 32″ flatscreen; that’s not as large as most families have, but to us it’s a huge treat. Naturally, the first thing we watched on the big screen was the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy (I received the extended editions last year)
After that, we hooked up the Wii. My son got DJ Hero 2 and I got Lego LOTR. Yes, we’re hardcore gamers over here.
The two best-received gifts were (first) the Sensu iPad paint brush we bought for my wife. Theoretically, the art programs on her tablet should let her make art anywhere and anytime, but she hated using her finger because she couldn’t see the mark she was making. With the brush, that’s all changed. It will be a challenge for her to work on such a small surface, but that’s a challenge she’s willing to face.
The second gift was the laptop my son received for his birthday. He was born on Boxing Day, and we do our best to carefully separate the two celebrations. Anyway, his new computer is better than either of mine and he’s already pushing for Call of Duty or Skyrim for it. In it’s way, this is also a gift for me, since he won’t have to do his schoolwork on my desktop all damn day.
So that’s why this blog has been dormant lately: holidays and birthday. Plus I’ve been working hard on EPIC SEQUEL WITH NO DULL PARTS. Sorry if I’m not around as much as I normally am but there’s work to do and fun to be had.
 Or is there an end? The boy is taking a break from Pokemon; he’s bored with his deck and bored with the game. As much as he likes the kids he plays against, it’s just not doing it for him the way it used to. We’ll see if he’s permanently moved on or if he just needs some time off.
 I’m convinced there’s another game that we left out, but for the life of me I can’t figure out what it would be.
 I’ve decided I prefer the extended editions. There’s more room for nuance in them. Boromir is not just this desperate, untrustworthy character, he’s also the hero who offers words of kindness to Frodo when their needed. And he has scenes with Aragorn, a ridiculous omission from the theatrical releases. However, I could have done without the avalanche of skulls bit and the orcs who use grapple attacks in the middle of a battle.
 As if his mom would let an 11yo sit in his room playing first person shooters. As if.
Tomorrow (or today, depending on when you read this) will be Black Friday, a day of doorbuster sales, consumers trampling each other for bargains, and sales at gigantic corporate retailers who undercut independent stores.
Or they would, unless the stores beat them at their own game. If you insist on doing some shopping, I’d like to point you back to my previous post about an indie game store that’s local to me, called Card Kingdom. They’re offering great prices and free shipping on some very popular board and card games. Check it out.
If that doesn’t seem like the right place to shop, you can check out this post from a few months back, Things I Would Buy Myself If I Were An Idiot for some unusual gift choices.
Yes, I’m going to do some shopping. Writing, too. Try not to get trampled.
Don’t hate me because I’m putting a Giftmas post ahead of Turkey Day, I’m not doing this because it directly benefits me. I don’t get anything for posting this except to drive traffic to a worthwhile, independently-owned store that deserves your business. Do you want to throw your money at Target or Amazon? I sure don’t, especially when you can pick up gifts for your friends and loved ones at great low prices with free shipping.
The store is called Card Kingdom and they have added a bunch of board and card games to their online store.
Did I mention low prices and free shipping?
Okay, I’m going to list the games I’ve already bought and intend to buy for my own family, and if you think they seem interesting, you can watch the game being played on a recent episode of Wil Wheaton’s online show Tabletop. But I’m going to put it behind a cut.
First, a message for my wife: I love you, sweetheart, but stop reading this post right now. I know I don’t have to say that to my kid, since he couldn’t be bothered, but I know you visit occasionally. Also, for anyone who knows her or is related to her, please don’t spoil her gift.
A cut! more »
As the fourth round of the Pokemon Fall Regional Championship was about to start, I was standing at the edge of the play area. Spectators–especially nervous parents like me–are supposed to keep well back to minimize the urge to interfere, but as I scanned the crowd, I could not see my son anywhere.
There were 90 kids playing in his age division, packed together at long tables, and he was not the largest of them by far. Still, I know my own child, right? But I couldn’t spot him. And why was some kid’s mom sitting at the end seat, waving at the judges?
Then she turned around and I realized she was not a mom at all; she was one of the players, and I couldn’t see my son because he was sitting opposite her. I hurried over and took a picture of them setting up for their match. No, she wasn’t an adult, but she did look more like my son’s Teaching Assistant than a kid in his age division.
Monday night my son and I returned (via 24-hour (plus!) train ride each way) from San Jose, where the Pokemon Fall Regional Championships took place. The event covers both video game (played on the DS) and the TCG (which stands for “Trading Card Game”). In the 21st century you might think the video game would dominate everyone’s time and attention, but in fact there were about 150 VG players and nearly 500 TCG players.
My own son is firmly on the card-game side.
This wasn’t my son’s first regionals. Last spring I took him up to Surrey, BC for the spring regionals there. He placed sixth out of forty-four kids, which is pretty good–at least, the border official who interviewed us on the way back into the country seemed impressed. I was pretty happy with his performance, too.
However, Worlds took place last July (August? I know it was summertime), which means the end of one season and the start of another. With the start of the new season, you get the annual change in age divisions: They sort players into three age divisions, and if my kid had been born only six days later, he would be the oldest of the Juniors this season (and kicking ass) instead of the youngest of the Seniors.
Oh my god, I am not kidding when I say he looks so small next to some of these kids.
But that’s the nature of these things: he’s a ten-year-old boy battling 14- and 15-year-old boys and girls, and sometimes the disparity is jarring.
For instance: in his first round he was matched against a kid he knew (and respected) online; in person, he looked like a high school shooting forward. I suspect this kid shaves more often than I do, and to pass along some info that may not seem terribly surprising, he won the that very important first match against my son.
A quick explanation: TCG tournaments are typically in “Swiss rounds” with the number of rounds determined by the number of kids. Ninety kids = seven rounds. In the second round, they match 1-0 players against other 1-0 players and 0-1 against 0-1. In the fourth round, it’s 4-0 vs 4-0, 1-3 vs 1-3, etc.
Here’s why that’s important: With 90 kids and seven rounds, you might end up with one undefeated, 5 with a 6-1 record, and 15 kids who went 5-2. How can you decide which 5-2 players deserve to round out the 16 kids who make “Top Cut” (the TCG version of playoffs)?
The answer is that in Swiss rounds you compare the winning percentages of their opponents. If one 5-2 player faced stronger players than another, they rank higher. And if two players tie in their record and they have a tie for opponents’ win percentage, the next step is to compare the opponents’ opponents’ win percentage. More on that later.
So the important thing, clearly, is not only to win, but to win early so you’re more likely to face winning players. Losing in the first round means you start off facing 0-1 players less likely to give you that vital opponents’ percentage, assuming you can make a comeback. If you want to do really well, you need to beat kids who never lose to anyone but you.
That’s what my son wanted, and that’s what he’s done in the past–not only as a Junior but as a Senior, too. He had hopes to place very high in this tournament and a first round loss was a tough setback.
In the second round he faced another 0-1 kid who was closer to his age and who had brought a deck that should have been a big challenge for my kid. Still, my son beat him. In the third round he faced a kid with a deck that was once pretty popular. My son beat him, too.
At 2-1 after three rounds, he was doing okay. Better to have gotten that loss on round 3 than round one, (his first round opponent was 1-2 at this point. His second round opponent was 0-3). Still, if he kept racking up wins had a chance at Top Cut.
Then: round four against the girl I thought was an adult. She told him before the match that she had come for the VG tournament but brought along a “joke deck” to play in the TCG event.
And she won. Worse, not only did she win, but she beat him with an incredibly frustrating strategy that left his active Pokemon paralyzed. His deck was completely set up to do all his attacks, but he couldn’t. She won the match because he ran out of cards to draw before she did, and not a single Pokemon had been knocked out.
He came over to me with tears in his eyes.
Now, I’ve seen many, many kids cry after they lose a match, and I don’t just mean the littlest kids, either. They’re competitive players with high expectations who work really freaking hard at this game, studying deck lists and strategies endlessly.
But all that work goes up in a puff when you lose.
At this point in the tournament, I had a secret plan. After the first round loss, I worried that he was not going to do well and decided I should have a nice surprise for him. You know, just in case.
So while he was playing a match, I went to the vendor at the side of the room (because if there’s Pokemon going on there’s an opportunity to swipe your credit card down to a plastic wafer three molecules thick) and looked for a plushie Ampharos. (That’s an electrical sheep sort of thing, and for some reason it’s the boy’s favorite.)
My next question: “Do you have a Lanturn Prime?”
Vendor: “Er, Lanturn Prime is a card; the Pokemon is just ‘Lanturn.’ And no, we don’t have it.”
At this point I was tapped out, because those were the only two I was sure he liked. Then the vendor said: “This is a very popular Pokemon with the kids, though, and it’s the only one we have. It’s a Hydreigon.”
It wasn’t very big, just about the size of my hand, and it looks like a mix of a dragon and purplish daisy. I thought He’s playing a Hydreigon deck… why not? “What’s it cost?”
He looked at the label: “Twenty dollars.” At least he had the decency to sound embarrassed.
I bought it anyway and stuffed it into the bottom of my bag for later than night.
But what’s the first thing my teary-eyed son said when he came over after his loss? “I knew I shouldn’t have brought my Hydreigon deck! I knew it!”
My stomach turned sour. I’d just spend twenty bucks on a memento to frustration and loss.
He talked a bit about why he lost and how the game played out, wiping his eyes as he talked. Then he talked about how badly he wanted to make Top Cut, and I tried to tell him all the platitudes parents tell kids when they compete: You did your best. It’s a tough competition. You gotta keep pushing and playing your hardest.
And then he broke my heart by apologizing to me. “I’m sorry, Dad,” he said, “for making you come all this way.”
As though I was disappointed in him. As though he owed me something.
Personally, I don’t think there’s anything better for a kid than a safe space where they can strive and fail, then strive again. Personal development, right? It’s necessary to make him into a happy adult.
But when I’m sitting beside him and he’s wiping tears away, I want to say fuck all that development bullshit. This kid is still too small and fragile for this. I want to step in and fix things for him, somehow. Not that I really could, and not that he’d let me.
Anyway, what I said next is sort of a blur, but I’m pretty sure I insisted that he never apologize to me for this sort of thing again. I told him how proud I was and reminded him that for the first time he was facing much older players in a heavily competitive environment. He also needed to be reminded, apparently, that he was here to make friends with many of these other kids–some of whom had been nothing more than usernames on a message board until then–and he was doing that.
Finally, I’m sure I told him I knew he was going to stick it out for the rest of the tournament and play his best in every round.
Anyway, he went right out and won his fifth round, then his sixth. He knew he might still make Top Cut if he won his last match of the day–some of the kids who make 5-2 would get in. However, the final match was against another kid from Seattle who is at least two years older and a really good player. But my son beat him.
In the end, at 5-2, he “bubbled” which means he was close to making the final 16 but fell short. He took 18th place out of 90 players, and the difference between that and the kid who took 16th came down to a 2.5% difference in their opponents’ win percentage. In fact, he tied opponents’ win percentage with the kid in 17th place, falling behind him because of the opponents’ opponents’ percentage.
But he was happy. He had turned things around and came out with a decent score. It wasn’t what he was hoping for, but he met a lot of great kids, played a shitload of Pokemon, and dragged me to McDonalds three times. He also loved the stuffed Hydreigon, laughed when I told him the story of buying it, and hugged me when I gave it to him. He says Hydreigon is his third favorite Pokemon.
Me, I got no damn writing done at all. I was just too stressed out.
Check it out:
For folks who don’t know, this is a superhero-themed cooperative fixed-deck card game. It can be a little fussy, what with keeping track of all the plusses and hit points, but the enhanced edition makes that easy. What’s more, it’s fun.
The boy and I both wanted to play tonight, but I’m just too wiped for it. This weekend we are going to be doing two Pokemon tournaments, so I’m not sure when we’ll have a chance to take on some of these new villains, but the boy and I are pretty psyched to give it a try.
Great game. Seriously.
So, my 10yo wanted to play some fantasy rpg, and after looking around a bit, I found this video
Looks pretty terrific, if you asked me. Best of all, it has an introductory adventure using simplified rules and pre-generated characters to teach you the game. This is a good thing, because we can not be coming to this cold. My wife has zero interest in rpgs and will only play as a family activity. My son is still learning the rules, and I just don’t have time to read through a huge game rulebook. I wanted something quick and fun.
So we open the box, the materials are beautiful, we pass out character sheets, and we start the introductory campaign.
And it’s a fucking dungeon crawl.
Okay, it’s a cave crawl, where you go from one chamber to the next, fight goblins here, defuse a trap there, fight this fight that. Sure, each room has something a little different: the spider shows how to do poisons and saving throws. The “goblin king” and the cliff you’re supposed to climb do skill rolls.
But there’s no story. No hook. Four generic characters on a generic crawl. You start by reading the situation aloud from the book (as is traditional) and then they drop you right at the entrance to the cavern.
Now, look, if this was 1981, that shit would be fine. No one expected better. But at this point, when you’re trying to reach new players, you need to pique their interest. You need a little narrative.
Why not start the adventure in the town? Role-play a neighbor complaining about some lost sheep, and a crowd bullying the mayor into arranging a tournament. Use a bit of the contest to teach the game. Maybe the PCs win, or maybe someone else wins and they go off in the wrong direction looking for the Big Bad.
How about establishing the stakes? What if the fighter (described on his sheet as having a liking for pretty women) is trying to impress a farmer’s daughter, the most beautiful milk maid in the valley? What if the cleric is frustrated that none of the locals come to his teacher’s temple, and decides to make a big show to draw in worshippers? What if the rogue needs to get some information from the local goblin bandits but they just drive her away? Give each character something to do besides kick down doors and fight random crap.
What if the local crowds blame a disreputable family at the lower end of the valley, and the heroes are sent there first. Yeah, they’re all bad guys, but their innocent of this particular crime. If the PCs drive them out, they end up killed in the dragon’s cave. If they spare them, they anger the locals who sent them there.
What if the quest is not to find the monster, but to find the sword that will destroy the monster? Then, mid-way through the adventure, something goes wrong and they discover they’ve been in the dragon’s lair the whole time.
What if? It’s the most important part of the game. Do you want to hook new players? Give them actual dilemmas to deal with, not just monsters to stab.
Look, it’s not as though I need yet another creative endeavor to fill up my days. DM-ing for my wife and son would be exhausting, and might even slow down my new book. But this was armor classes, dragons, magic missiles, the whole deal! It could have been fun as hell.
Instead, it’s just going to be another box on the shelf. Disappointing.