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Graham S

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  1. Hey, DS Animal Crossing Lucytown Space Museum fans, I have an update for you. This weekend it was the International Space Settlement Design Competition. Normally this would involve an all expenses paid trip to the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida. This time it just involved staying up for days in our kitchen (and other venues around the world). And Lucy (and her team) won the whole thing!
  2. We like playing games like Obra Dinn as a family( not with parents) The Witness and Gorogoa are the closest match for our tastes in group puzzling. We loved Fez too but that's too platformy for parents. Heaven's Vault had a very appealing decode-an-ancient-language puzzle game running through it, but did involve a lot of RPG / point and click style wandering around talking to people and we gave up before the end. I'm not playing it, but my daughter currently seems to be enjoying Ed Epistaxis' Phoenix Wright / Picross mashup, Murder By Numbers.
  3. The "lonely fun" of D&D comes from reading a lot of source books and imagining how they might go if you run them. So much so that a lot of RPG products in the past were clearly written to be sold and read, not played. I also see a bunch of people enjoying generating characters, although I don't see it myself. The DM's Guild does offer a good number of "Solo Adventures". I've never read one, but I imagine they're like Fighting Fantasy gamebooks, so that might be worth investigating. For me so much of the magic of the game is the alchemy of a few different people at a table / online making stuff up together with the dice as an aid, so really I'd just encourage you to find some people to play with online. In the current situation there must be plenty of people online looking for players.
  4. Only Ludo and Blackjack! Unless others unlock later. DeKay said there was only one more 3 player game too. Disappointing.
  5. It only offered us 4 player games of Blackjack and Ludo! Is this a question of unlocking more in single player, or is that it?
  6. @Hitcher, assuming you are just being naive on this point, you're not the first person ever to respond to the Black Lives Matter movement by saying every life matters, it's used a lot to dismiss the cause of addressing racism, politicised as the phrase All Lives Matter. So you're immediately going to be viewed as aligning yourself with some very dodgy people (many of whom are actual racists, or at a minimum don't think racism is a big deal), and people are weary of the argument that results as it gets infuriating. Here's a cartoon.
  7. Torchlight 2 doesn't appear to be couch co-op? Diablo 3 I believe is, might graduate to that when we finish this.
  8. Look how amazing I am. Possibly my greatest achievement, recognising a lightning bolt I last saw 38 years ago. Hoping to get a statue or a blue plaque out of this.
  9. And what a good place to start it is, I’ve read a lot of adventures now and I’m very fond of LMOP.
  10. Kzo’s posts made me miss it so I got the urge to start an online game with friends. I offered them a few non-D&D alternatives so I could experiment. We’ve fairly randomly selected Stars Without Number, which seems to be all of science fiction procedurally generated with a million random tables. It should make an interesting sandbox and I’m going to have to make a lot of stuff up instead of just learning a WotC module by heart. Gulp.
  11. I don’t pay for the dynamic lighting option. Setting the advanced keyboard shortcuts to on and then learning them helped me. I keep my character sheets in dndbeyond. The chrome addin, Beyond20 helped me. I didn’t find roll20 video chat reliable so I used discord.
  12. I found reading about "West Marches" campaigns gave me some ideas for dealing with a larger player base than I have around the table on any one night, although my Waterdeep campaign isn't really a WM campaign.
  13. I think you might want to consider whether 7 is too many, especially online. I'd run different groups of 3 or 4 for a while around Phandalin (you've got LMOP and Icespire Peak for subquests) and then occasionally have an event game (fighting a dragon!) where everyone is on at once. If you're light enough on your feet with regard to plot, you might be able to make each episode enough of a standalone so it won't matter too much if different people phase in or out on any particular night. I've found people don't need strict continuity to cover for absences, everyone understands the practicalities. Phandalin is a good homebase where everyone can live, then set out on an adventure for the night. Keeping combat moving and fast enough is really hard with new players (and for experienced players) and by the time it's your turn again after 6 other people have slowly decided what to do and asked about the rules again is a real drag. I'd fight the urge to direct them too much. I know it's very tempting, especially if you have good ideas if they take a particular path and nothing in mind if they do something different. So much of the magic comes from them feeling like they're choosing freely (even if you've subtly loaded the dice: they're often quite predictable given the right incentives). You've got enough to do without being their team leader too. There's a tension here, in that it's important you keep things moving, but I'd do that with your own pawns (goblins attack!) and not by making them do stuff. I do sometimes remind players of cool things their character can do, but they often look disappointed if they feel I'm hinting too heavily. If you feel a player is metagaming because he's heard TAZ, don't stop him from doing something, change things up so he's surprised. Going from memory / abandoning the source text is totally fine. It's your own unique adventure now. Canon is what you invent in the moment. No one knows the "right" story, and being alive to stuff your players come up with or you think up is usually what people remember with fondness. 1. Let them leave the cave if they want. If you want them to meet Klarg, think of tempting enough bait so you can hook them in. If they do want to rest in the cave, let them, get them to describe setting up camp and then hit them with some wandering goblins, make the place feel alive, new players might find this surprising. 2. I found that combat was the main thing to try to speed up. D&D is very rules heavy in this area. There are a few cheat sheets online to prompt them with their usual actions. My methods for doing it around the table apply less online (basically I want people to know when their turn is coming up, and have their main options on their character sheets). To a certain extent I'd let them be headless chickens. They're low level characters, perhaps they don't know how to efficiently clear a goblin cave, so you can lean into that. You can also ask them in general terms what their character would want to do, and then try and interpret that into actions for them, as a way of teaching them the rules. 3. Talking to players in character yourself is what I try to do here. And if they talk out of character to each other I let the NPCs hear them and react to what they say. It's a bit stressful for new players who don't want to look silly or do it wrong. 4. 5. He was fine for me. Big bads often go down fast anyway (I had a cool blazing rooftop fight and a speech planned for Glasstaff and he got hit from behind with a fireball scroll and never got to speak). BS had some cool abilities (darkness, spider climb) and I had a doppelgänger impersonating a player so it was quite a good fight in the end. I do see people online beef him up in terms of lore (some made him an actual spider / drider), but I didn't think that would mean anything to my players. My players take more pleasure in taking these guys out than they do listening to me monologuing. Definitely cool laying down seeds of potential plot and see which ones spark their imagination, and then take those things and elaborate on them.
  14. I suspect we like our privacy but I’ll ask the family!
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