Friday, December 03, 2010

Merging Profession and Hobby = Fun!

This week I started a series within a series (because I'm just like that) where I'm going to be talking about World Building for a tabletop RPG in my Architect DM series of posts for Critical Hits. So far I've been incredibly surprised by the series not just from people giving almost entirely positive feedback on it but also because writing posts for it has been some of the easiest writing I've ever done for a blog and especially for CH. If you want to check out the whole series, you can view the "Architect DM" tag by using this url:

So far in the series I've covered things like building story foundations for the locations in your games so that they are more believable, including if you are using ruined locations to think about what they looked like beforehand and what uses they had and then have fun destroying and knocking parts of them down to create even more interesting terrain. I've also talked about how to design a dungeon by thinking about a modern office building and taking the inverse of it and going into the ground instead of into the air. Many of the posts have been based on reader questions and suggestions and that's one thing that makes it even more fun for me to write the posts.

I'm not 100% sure but I wouldn't be surprised if all of the " DM" titles owe themselves back to Phil and his Chatty DM moniker, but for the last 5 years or so I have strongly considered myself a "Professional / Nerd" and finally decided to take that a step further and combine my experiences and expertise with Architecture and apply it to my hobby of running and playing D&D and other RPGs. This series also probably owes itself largely to the DM Guys Podcast which I participated in with our friend Quinn one day about improvising as a DM and Dave and Quinn quipped that I may be better at improvising locations/dungeons because I have spent a lot of my life designing locations (not dungeons, but really modern offices and dungeons aren't that far apart, which is probably why I compared them in one of my Architect DM posts). I thought about it and decided they were right, and that I should share to help others be able to do the same.

As far as reading goes, thanks to a day trip down to Jacksonville, FL I made significant progress through book 6, Lord of Chaos, and am now definitively into the final part of the book where I almost always speed up to get to the end. I'm 84% through the book now, and am almost caught up with where I should have been if I hadn't taken a couple days off from reading in the beginning of November.

Reading a series like Wheel of Time is teaching me quite a bit about writing, fantasy novels / storylines, storytelling in general, and pacing when it comes to novels. I'm excited to be approaching the half way point through the entire series, something that I honestly thought I'd either never do or I would be much older by the time I did it. You have to keep in mind that previously it would take me 3-6 months or even up to a year to finish a single book in the series, and now I'm clearing a book in roughly a month without THAT much more effort put into it. Again, I'm hoping in the near future to apply the same philosophies that have helped my reading to the other parts of my life such as writing and drawing.

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