Recent Updates to Kismet's Dungeons & Dragons

 

Blue dragon by sandara

"Blue dragon" by sandara (original) is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

 

10/13/2023

I hadn't planned on working on this site tonight, but then I saw a GM ask about a way to organize some notes. They had a player hand them a backstory that was pages long and they wanted a way to jot down key details for quick reference. I kind of felt honor-bound to try to help, since I've handed GMs long backstories before and left them to sort out the details. As payment of my old debt, I present the Character Backstory GM Note Template!

 

10/9/2023

I was going to do a brief review of the Imperial Grace demo by Synstoria but then I started digging into everything and, well, you can find the full review here. It's so difficult for me to hold back when it comes to things I enjoy!

 

9/30/2023

I've spent some time this weekend working on improving code around here. If you think you notice things that have changed since you last visited, this is probably why. Hopefully I didn't break anything in the process! If something isn't working or looking right, feel free to let me know.

 

9/26/2023

After being asked to review products from Mystery Dice Goblin, I'm happy to report on the dice and pins theys ent me as well as my thoughts on their store website!

 

9/8/2023

While visual novels I read are fantasy-oriented, some of them aren't. I found the extended demo for the Victorian queer romance, Of Sense and Soul, to be high-quality in every way. Since its still gathering funds via Backerkit, I've reviewed it in hopes of spreading the word a little further.

 

9/5/2023

I've reviewed one of my favorite visual novel demos, Sigh of the Abyss: Shadow Bonds. Please read it, go try it, and wishlist the full visual novel on Steam.

 

9/3/2023

I just completed my first review of an explicit erotic visual novel, Sanguine Rose. I haven't read many erotic VNs thus far, but this one was my first and the experience has stuck with me, so I'm adding my thoughts here. While my review isn't explicit, the novel is for adults only and won't be to everyone's taste, so reader discretion is advised.

 

8/22/2023

I did a quick review for the demo of Dual Chroma, a hybrid RPG visual novel being crowdfunded on Kickstarter now.

 

8/20/2023

The rain from Hurricane (now tropical storm) Hilary has begun in earnest in Los Angeles today, so I'm staying in and improving code here around the site. I've added a banner image that means a lot to me, since it's a campfire scene from Chrono Trigger. Once upon a time, as a teenager, I played the hell of of that game. For its time, it was a perfect RPG, featuring time travel, a unique cast of characters, and its own fun magic system in which characters could create different effects by working together. My imagination took the art and made it real; my mind translated the music into the stereo stratosphere. I have its soundtrack on my music player and will listen to it from time to time because it always makes me happy. Somewhere in my heart, the theme from Zeal is always playing and I am watching the world from that doomed floating kingdom's elegant spires. Wherever you are today, I hope you are safe and spending time with the people and things you love.

 

8/17/2023

This evening, I finished my first round of quick demo reviews. I can't possibly give all the demos I try an extended treatment, but I can share my thoughts and bring attention to those I don't dig into in depth.

 

8/15/2023

Today I finished reviewing the TOUCHSTARVED demo and added another micro VN review of "A Bit Tied Up". I wasn't sure about spending time reviewing demos, since they're works in progress and liable to change. It's also true that just because a demo exists, that doesn't mean the full visual novel will ever be completed. But I've seen how difficult it can be for creators to get the word out about the projects. I also know there's a ton of demos out there, and people might be reluctant to try them without knowing how others liked them. In the age of online shopping, reviews matter. So I'll be giving some demos more robust writeups and doing brief reviews for others, as a compromise with myself. Because I only have so much time and there's so much I want to do!

 

8/15/2023

Today I added a page for quick reviews of micro visual novels (those that tend to take less than half an hour to complete), and reviews of several ones that I've tried recently.

 

8/14/2023

This evening, I finished my visual novel fan profile so you can learn about what I'm after before you dive into one of my reviews. I also created a new section of the site just for reviews, and I'm hoping to do more of them.

 

8/1/2023

Happy August, everyone! I added my first visual novel review today for Ballads at Midnight, a Gothic fantasy romance that I enjoyed playing. If you find my review useful, I hope you'll let me know. If there's something I forgot to cover, feel free to ask about it. I'm still working out the format I want to use for VN reviews, and I want them to be helpful.

 

7/25/2023

Today, I added a few other versions of my template for session notes and worked on streamlining the sizes of images so the documents will remain small (37-69 kb) and easier to load.

 

7/24/2023

Today, I made a template for session notes that you can use to record and share notes during play. It's a Google Doc meant for players to use, either one at a time or together. You can change anything you'd like about it, and you can use it to get ideas for how to set up your own. If you give it a go, please let me know how it worked for you!

 

7/23/2023

Today, I fixed dead links across the site and added a number of links to my gaming-related links page.

I also finished rewriting and expanding my discussion of common pitfalls in tabletop gaming as a hobby.

 

7/19/2023

After trying to get around to it for years, I finally revised and updated my page about Pregnancy & Childbirth in fantasy tabletop RPGs. That includes the general rules I have for fertility, conception, multiple offspring, and so on. I'm rather embarrassed by the mistakes I found and hope they are clearer and easier to follow.

 

7/17/2023

Today, I rewrote my page about the common benefits of roleplaying games. It was an old entry that I tossed onto the site in a hurry. I'd fully intended to expand on it but kept forgetting to do so. Well, no longer! If there's something I missed, feel free to let me know.

I've added images to every page on this site except for 2: my discussion of problems outside the game and concerns that roleplaying games lead to violent behavior. After serious thought, I'm still not sure what to use. Finding something that's royalty-free is also a concern. So I'm leaving them alone for now.

 

7/11/2023

Hello again! Coding improvements continue apace across the site. I've also been adding art to pages that haven't had pieces before (so if any images are borked, please let me know so I can fix them).

But for the first time in a while, I have a whole new article to share with you: Why You Should Read Visual Novels!

I think it's safe to say that visual novels have become my latest obsession, and I just know that a lot of other gamers out there will love them. VNs can also be great for folks who are burnt out on traditional reading. So I'd like to tell you why you should try them out. I'll also be adding reviews for the visual novels I've been reading in the near future, in case you're looking for recommendations!

 

7/5/2023

Hi everybody! I've spent time over the last month improving this site, page by page. I worked on finding and fixing errors, streamlining coding, standardizing appearances and functions, and trying to cut down load time first. I'm proud to say that I'm mostly done, though I'm sure there are a few things I overlooked. If you find something that doesn't work right, do let me know.

Along the way, I updated some content:

I've also updated the look of my Google Sheets offerings so they're more readable. I hope you like them!

5/27/2023

Lately, I've been adjusting code and options across this site. You may have noticed that the main menu has changed. Some pages now have table of contents buttons so you can navigate to different sections more easily (I have a long way to go before most of them have that option, but I'm working on it). Soon, any downloads will also be available via a button. I hope this makes things tidier and easier to use.

While doing all that, I decided to rewrite most of my article about creating romantic characters - and while doing that, I made improvements to my romantic relationship generator, which is explained on that page. I couldn't stop writing and thinking about it until it was done, which hasn't happened in a while and is always a great experience. I feel like that article now has a lot to offer gamers and writers, and I hope you enjoy it!

5/6/2023

Recently, I've revised every generator I offer on this site and added two more - and now you can download and use them all! You can find a list of every generator I offer here.

Since almost all of them are system agnostic, you can use them for various fantasy games or writing projects. They're also free and can be altered to suit your needs. I'm also tinkering with code on this site for the first time in months, so you may see some changes to how things look and work. If something isn't working at all, though, please let me know!

Thanks, and happy gaming!

2/14/2023

After further thought, I've removed any AI images I made from this site. I've also gone through and replaced most art that's here. I'm grateful for art I can share via Creative Commons and hope you enjoy it! Happy Valentine's Day!

10/12/2022

To make it easier for me to upload and easier for you to find and download what you like, I've moved all of my NightCafe images to a special gallery. Everything will be there, from the gothic to the high fantasy stuff. Enjoy!

10/7/2022

Even more images are in my galleries and better ones, too. Check them out!

9/27/2022

You want castles and other pretty fantasy locations? How about maps? I've added three galleries of images for them, and added more pieces to other galleries, too.

9/25/2022

I've added two more galleries of images: miscellaneous fantasy characters and fantasy creatures. I've also started to sprinkle some of the images I've made on other pages here, too, so you can see them in larger sizes.

I discovered some images offered completely for free, for personal and commercial purposes, by the talented and generous Ramona. I decided to play with them and liked them so much I've added one to index pages and will be adding others elsewhere. I've just started using Twitter and I'm glad I did, or I would probably have missed her post!

9/24/2022

After some consideration, I've decided to add many of the images I've made on NightCafe to galleries on this site. (If something really didn't turn out well, I probably won't add it here.) I started using NightCafe in the first place for several reasons, and one of the top ones involved my desire to share with the community. To do that, I want browsing and downloading to be easy. Thus, I've added a couple of galleries and will add more as time permits. I'm also going to add the modern, real-world, and gothic images I've made to my World of Darkness site, when I have the chance. (Which reminds me: I still need to finish updating that site's layout...)

I know AI art is quite controversial and I mean no harm to anyone. I want artists to be seen and commissioned, which is why I didn't want to add my images to DeviantArt or some other outlet and will share posts asking for commissions when I can. I want to respect artists, as well; they're not just people, skilled workers, and vital sources of inspiration, but also my friends. When I've looked up my images, I haven't found them to be significantly close to other works. If they are, however, please let me know and I can remove them. I know the way the AI learns based on images online - without artists' consent - is in and of itself a tricky issue that's being hashed out globally, but will ultimately be decided locally. For now, I'm going with the notion that styles and ideas in art can't be copyrighted, only finished works and derivatives that are significantly close to originals. Of course, I'll be watching as things progress and adjusting accordingly.

I hope to have your understanding and to be understanding, as well, as we navigate the choppy waters in which new waves of technology meet ancient wells of artistic human impulse. Thank you!

5/15/2022

Since my yearly subscription to World Anvil is nearly up, I decided to write my review of the service today. It took a lot longer than I anticipated, which has generally been the case when I've interacted with WA, but I did my best to relate my experience in fair terms, and I'm not sorry I checked it out.

5/3/2022

While fiddling with behind-the-scenes stuff today, I decided to update my gaming music page. People are always looking for music and we've never had more options to choose from, but my page was quite out of date.

First, I added better advice on what to listen for when choosing gaming music and reasons why you should consult with your group about noises you use. Then, I took a look around and found more streaming services and apps than I knew about, so I had to add them to the list. If you know of other services or programs (not individual playlists), please let me know so I can check them out! I decided to leave my old, quick reviews of various soundtracks because they're still solid albums, but I reorganized them according to type (film soundtracks, video game soundtracks, etc.). I hope the page is more useful now!

4/28/2022

I've been fiddling with the navigation and merged two pages into one big index so more articles are available with one click (from the Gaming link). I'm also doing little tweaks here and there as I review pages. If you ever find an error or something that doesn't work, please let me know. Thanks!

4/25/2022

I've completely restructured my character palette, a tool I developed many years ago for digging deep into characters and keeping track of their details. I'm pretty happy with how the results look and act now!

4/23/2022

After much thought and rewriting, I've finally posted Fighting the Dragons of Anxiety, my first article about how having anxiety has affected my gaming life. I want to take part in the larger conversation about how Real LifeTM issues can affect our abilities to participate in and enjoy our hobbies. I've come to take this more seriously in the last decade not just because I've struggled but because I've heard others speak about how much they've struggled. And gaming can be such a great release. A gathering of friends. A brief escape from one's own reality. A cathartic, creative outlet. It enriches our quality of life. I want to keep doing it, and I want others to be able to keep gaming, too.

I also revamped the Google Doc versions of all articles that I have available. I've added a table of contents for each one right up front, to make them easier to navigate, and some small images, to make them less stark. I hope they look and act better.

3/15/2022

Since I've been working on my WoD site recently, I thought I'd take a quick look here and see if there's anything I should adjust. As it turned out, I realized that I could get rid of the few images I was still using from an old web graphics set. Even though I liked the splash image, there's just no need for it on every page. I was using an occasional button or divider, but was bored with them, so I went through every page to make sure old images wouldn't be left behind before deleting them. I found a free dragon divider image from pixabay and edited it, and I'm pretty pleased with the results; you can see it surrounding each table of contents. There's a new, simple title image and that's it for the basics.

2/24/2022

Last year, I backed a Kickstarter for an urban fantasy game I'd never heard of before. It had already been released previously; the creators just wanted to improve it and get it in print. So when the PDF of the original core book showed up, I made it my downtime project to read the whole thing. Since I spent a good deal of time with it, I've decided to review it. Introducing Defiant by Game Machinery!

2/22/2022

Since I finally finished the first season of The Legend of Vox Machina, I decided to update my review of it today. I've also been updating any downloadable documents for this site, trying to make them more readable.

2/6/2022

I finished the first half of the first season of The Legend of Vox Machina today and decided to share my thoughts on it.

2/3/2022

Hello folks! You may have noticed some coding changes to the headings and subheadings around here in January. I'm trying to make them pop out while still remaining readable. I'm also trying to organize them so they're consistent and work well devices for the sight-impaired. I'm pretty pleased with the results!

I've also been updating code for all of the tables on this site (which, as you can imagine, has taken a little while; there are LOTS of tables).

There's a lot more color, distinguished borders, and the row you're hovering over with your mouse will change color so you can tell where you are. I taught myself more CSS last year but didn't have the chance to improve things here until now. And I can't help but feel like this is a big improvement. I hope you like it, too!

 

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