I've just added a ton of character portraits for House Valgon at Eltabbar, the branch I've been expanding upon this year. I've also been expanding on the content for each character. I recently got a WorldAnvil membership and have been using its templates to help guide my efforts, and I have to say, it's been a lot of fun. I've written more than I thought I had in me, given time constraints and how little I knew about some of the NPCs when I started. But WA has inspired me, and it's a way to relax, when I get the chance. As I update on WA, I'll update things here.
There's still a lot left to do on House Valgon at Eltabbar. It's a major branch (with over 40 members in 5 generations) and has been the main focus of our campaign. I'm trying to give a little more insight even into characters who were dead before our game began and the young children of the house. But I love my Valgons and look forward to fleshing them out further, one character at a time.
I'd done some work on my location generators that I forgot to share, so I updated the generator files, the Google Sheets version, and the page. I also updated my directions on how to use my generator files at RPGChartMaker's site. It's really very easy and fast. I hope you find them useful!
I just discovered that someone found my marriage customs page and liked the options enough to create a generator from my random roll tables, and I love it! So I've linked to Thundermark's generator from the web page and the Google doc. I'm always grateful when folks create and share useful things with the material I have here.
I've completed my rewrites of my women in gaming section by overhauling my page on women in the hobby. I hope that it continues to provide food for thought for those who visit my site.
Recently, I've been approached by a journalist about my women in gaming section and my experiences as a female player, DM, and content producer. While I've been thoughtfully working on answering her questions, I've also gone back and reviewed what I have written here. This has made me realize some interesting facts about this site. Simply put, some of the material is quite old now; there are articles that I wrote over a decade ago. I may have updated parts of articles over the years, or I might have just left pages alone, only updating them when I'm improving the look and functionality of the site. I also don't tend to have people review what I present here before it's published, write in my dwindling spare time, and don't have time to read old pages, so not everything is as carefully considered as it could be. On top of all of that, my views, assumptions, and expressions have changed over the decades, and this site as a whole is nearly 20 years old.
So sometimes I'll reread something I wrote here and find aspects that make me cringe. It's not just a matter of finding typos or judging the quality of my writing, but also about seeing problems with my ideas. This has happened in places in my writing about women. Despite my best intentions, I've found aspects that aren't phrased as respectfully as I'd like or comments that are based on misogynistic assumptions that I didn't realize I possessed. I've learned more and tried to do better, and the pages in question deserve better from me. With that in mind, I've rewritten the intro and the page about female characters, and I'll be finishing my edits on the page on women in the hobby as soon as I get the chance.
And whenever the article I'm being interviewed for is published, I'll be sure to let you know.
Today, I published a new article that I didn't expect to write (although perhaps I should have). It's called Of Dice & Death, and it's about dice that are being made with human ashes and/or bones. Some are being sold to strangers, and others are memorial items for family and friends. If you're a gamer, this is an option for you to consider, and you might be offered dice made from the remains of a friend. I recently received such an offer, and want to share what I've learned from it.
As part of my recent work all over the site, I rewrote most of my page about consent in gaming (particularly in games that include romance and/or sex). I'm not trying to please everyone because I know that's impossible, but I'm really trying to do better than the first draft I put up previously.
Yesterday, I went in and redid one of the family trees for the Valgons, the noble family the player characters are part of in our evil campaign. I've also been adding more character portraits as I've created them, mostly for the Valgons.
I've been cleaning up code around here this weekend, and as a result, I revised and updated my general overview of D&D so it accounts for 5th edition.
Last night, I started publishing the first of a series of articles I'm writing about how soap operas can teach us ways to build better stories and characters in tabletop campaigns. I've added the second half of my discussion about characters today, and I hope it serves you well. If you've tried some of these techniques in your games already - or if you try them after reading about them here - I'd love to hear about how it went.
The Worldspinner Portrait Workshop app beta is now at a point where I've been able to start generating character portraits to represent characters in our games well, so I've started adding them to the section on my original campaign and our evil campaign. Thankfully, the good folks at Worldspinner allow users to post the portraits they create online, so I can feature them here and show you some of what the app is capable of. There are only a few portraits right now, but rest assured, there will be more, as I make them. I can also say that the app is worth every cent I paid and probably more, especially since it's still in beta and there's a lot left to be added. It has incredible versatility and value to gamers who aren't visual artists but still want good portraits for their games.
Using portraits on this site is one of the major reasons why I backed the Kickstarter in the first place, even though it was for a phone app (while I would have preferred a computer program or web version, which will hopefully happens someday). A gallery of automatically generated portraits loads every time you open the app, and there tend to be many evocative results. If you get lucky and one of them is close to what you have in mind for a character, then you'll only need to adjust a few things, apply a background, and upload it to the location of your choice; the whole process won't take more than 5-15 minutes. However, if you can't find something that's close to what you want, it takes real time to adjust the options to suit your vision. I've had one portrait take me over half an hour to get right, but I'm hoping that with updates and improvements, the loading times will decrease.
I hope you enjoy them here and on my Facebook page; I know I do!
Slowly but surely, I've been doing back-end work on this site. I've shared a whole new crop of art that I find inspirational, though none of it was made for D&D or this site in particular. I haven't changed any of the artwork, except to share pieces in smaller file sizes/dimensions than the originals so pages load faster. I've been working on cleaning up coding, layout, and other concerns that lead to a better user experience.
I haven't run D&D or Pathfinder in about a year due to COVID turning everything upside down. My group isn't comfortable gaming online and we've been avoiding gatherings offline. None of us have been vaccinated yet, either, but hopefully that will change soon. Some of us had our workload increased crazy amounts last year. In the meantime, I've been playing with and running for my honey, mostly in our heavily homebrewed World of Darkness games. I've been reading D&D 5e's core books recently and hope to run it someday soon, however. I have an awesome Ravenloft concept I'd like to try out. I don't even need the upcoming official book for it - I just need time to develop it and learn enough 5e to run it. Wish me luck! Happy gaming!
Almost the entire site has been updated to mobile-friendliness since I last updated this page. It is not 100% done for a number of reasons. First, of course, is that Real LifeTM comes first and has been throwing some curveballs my way. Next, I've been finding and fixing old code as I go, which takes some doing. I have also been converting PDFs to Google Docs and Sheets so it is easier to use the resources offered here. Last but not least, I have been doing some updates to old pages, particularly in my section about Thay, where I run my evil campaign. I do hope the overall experience is better and to finish soon.
I've been getting back to converting this site into a more mobile-friendly format, and I'm making some good progress. As part of that process, I rediscovered some resources I've worked on but haven't published here. You can now review and download my strongholds and spaces rules (to create buildings) and my campaign character sheet! Feel free to let me know what you think of them.
I am sorry to say that two months have passed since I've been able to continue converting pages on this site; Real LifeTM has a way of taking over. But I am happy to report that not only am I back in the saddle, but I've returned with a big update to my drow name generators! I had been adding options to my private files for quite some time without updating, so I decided to track down even more, and come up with new pieces and meanings as they were needed. I went over the generators repeatedly, looking for flaws and fixing them the best I could. I have Google worksheets and handy files for RPGchartmaker; either way, you can roll up names for characters and houses quickly. I hope you enjoy them!
Over half of the pages on this site have now been converted to the new, mobile-friendly layout. As I've been going along, I've also converting PDF offerings into Google docs and sheets and updating their look. While updating my section on sex and romance in gaming, I decided to rewrite much of my article about consent and to move the article to the top of the table of contents. The previous article is quite old and was written before I had studied consent in depth, but it is such an important aspect of living that I have taken to teaching it directly to all of my students in real life. What's more, I believe that the rules of engagement consent provides can improve the gaming experience and can help gamers avoid the horror stories some of you have shared with me over the decades. I want all gamers to be fulfilled by our wonderful hobby, up to and including the use of romantic tropes, so I offer this revision with respect and care for every person at every table.
Big things are afoot behind the scenes here as I work on converting the whole site to something mobile-friendly. I've been learning some new tricks as I go, and I hope to pick up the pace to get it all done. I will also be converting PDFs of my offerings to Google docs and sheets so you can download your own copies and alter them for your own purposes.
Hello everyone! Long time no see. After a long break, I am delving back into DMing and am working on gaming stuff again. With that in mind, I wanted to spruce up the old site a bit. My generators (for drow names, Thayan names, fantasy objects, and locations, respectively) have been unavailable for a while online. The wonderful site I use, RPGChartmaker, changed its format and does not allow direct linking to generator pages anymore. What you can do now is download my files and upload them on RPGChartmaker; it's really easy and fast, once you get used to it. Please let me know how they work out for you.
Since the cleric in our game has gotten pregnant again and it looks like important NPCs will follow her lead, I have updated my pregancy in gaming section with some possible rules for you to use. I started by adapting some of the basics I've been using from the Book of Erotic Fantasy but expanded them considerably. I hope they are fairly streamlined and a good starting place for groups who are ready to go there.
I have automated my Thayan Name generator in a new way so that you can use it online with the push of a button. You can also alter it easily, deleting entries or adding your own and saving a copy for future use. I am also delighted to have received permission to use art by Artemis Morgan, who has some great fantasy art and some awesome Thayan pieces in particular!
I have been adding new work to my blog about Thay this week that has to do with the Salamander War, a chapter in Thayan history that can be tough to pin down. I found it quite rewarding to research and rewrite it for my own ends, and hope you enjoy reading about it.
For my next round of updates, I have worked on reducing file sizes of art, changing the sizes of pieces, and adding new ones. If any image links come up wrong, please let me know. If you have been here recently, you might need to refresh pages to see the changes.
I have also updated the section on adultery in roleplaying games, though it is not yet 100% complete.
I will be looking into updating for better mobile usability and easier reading; do let me know if you have any suggestions.
Welcome to 2018 at Kismet's D&D! I have finally finished my work on an article about women as gamers and game producers, after years of having other matters get in the way. I have added a means for you to link to this site and receive a link in return, as well as a link to my new favorite gaming music site. I hope against hope to have the time to write more for my blog about Thay, since we have begun playing our campaign there again, but we'll see what the gaming gods have in store.
In honor of Stewart Wieck's recent and untimely passing, I present to you two character generators for DMs and players to use. I have felt the desire to create more, share more, and enjoy more in gaming, and so far I've been very happy with the results. Please let me know what you think and if there are any changes that would help improve them.
We recently had a character background contest on my fan page, Kismet's Gamer Gathering. We had so many fun entries, and one fan suggested putting them together in a readable format. I was able to obtain permission to do so from most of those who participated, and I've placed the winning entries here, along with a link to the entire book (which right now runs some 36 pages in length). I hope you enjoy it!
Now that I've had a moment to breathe, I've been taking a look around the site. I noticed that one of my drow name generators needed tweaking to produce better names, so I went about fixing it. I also realized that I could to a lot better work on my treasure generators, so I did. I hope they work much better now.
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