A Year in Review: 2018

Wow, did 2018 fly right by! I scarcely believe that, as I write this, it is the last day of the year. It’s been a year marked with struggle, loss, and joy all jumbled together in a strange, bittersweet mix.

Life, however, finds a way and I still managed to get in some amazing time around the table, both physically and digitally. As this is the final day of the year, I’d like to take a little time to reflect back on what I accomplished in the hobby, what I left on the table (no pun intended), and what’s coming in 2019. So, break out the bubbly and let’s review 2018!

Into the Dresdenverse!

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of The Dresden Files novels and the tabletop RPG it’s spawned from Evil Hat. I’ve been running it since the first of what is now Con +1 back in 2014. I started with the original system, which was based on Fate 3.0, but I have since moved on to using Dresden Files Accelerated exclusively.

This year, I was lucky enough to both run and play in some great sessions around my digital table.

Relics of the Past

Continuing The Adventures of Alex Blackheart and Kaden Nuru, I ran a three-session mini campaign called Relics. Utilizing the fantastic Dresden Files Accelerated, Relics took the dynamic duo plus one to Nairobi, Kenya to secure an ancient sarcophagus before it fell into the wrong hands. Hobbled by scheduling conflicts, the series came to a thrilling conclusion early this month and is currently available over on my Youtube channel.

Relics reprises performances from good friends Dennis K. as Alexandre Blackheart, antiquarian of Odin, Mathew B. as Kaden Nuru, a shaman of the Emerald Enclave, and John Alan Large of Red Dice Diaries as Annika Kjelleberg, Dennis and Mathew are common sights around my digital table, and John was able to join us for the first two sessions as his character from my 2-part Motor City Files from last year. As always, I was thrilled to play with these guys this year, even if I had to abbreviate this chapter of The Adventures of Alex Blackheart and Kaden Nuru.

Relics also touched on a fundamental piece of Kaden’s backstory: his battle with the Kholmodumo – a timeless leviathan of the primordial universe – years before that left him blind and bereft of much of his power. It also brought Alex and Kaden to the attention of cosmic forces, brought Alex afoul of the curse of the Black Buddha, and left Kaden with many questions regarding his good friend. But it also brought a measure of closure for Kaden with the defeat of the Kholmodumo – at least for now – and a reunion with an old flame.

I had a blast running this and, as discussed after the last session, there are big plans afoot for my little Dresdenverse in 2019…

Dresden Files…in the Old West!?

I had the privilege of playing in a Dresden Files Accelerated session, Wild West Dresden Files Accelerated, that was ran by John Alan Large of Red Dice Diaries. For the session, I played an embittered ex-Warden named Lonán Michael O’Connor. Any chance I get to play a magical practitioner, I take it. Like a previous session ran by John, ol’ Lonán also got his ass-kicked around a bit – this time by a Black Court vampire. Super fun session, and it goes to show that the system/setting can be used in all kinds of time periods.

Adventurer in a Play-by-Post Land

Because of my busy schedule this year, I’ve found myself leaning once again on play-by-post to get my tabletop fix. I’ve made a mention of it before, but the Adventurers League over at Myth Weavers is quite excellent. I’ve played a centurion dragonborn, a human-hating elf wizardess, a plucky young gnome female cleric out stomping hard for her god, and a male genasi puglist with a taste for fisticuffs. I’ve ran a ton of pre-made, high quality modules that have given me a new appreciation for pre-made adventures.

All-in-all, I’ve played a crazy amount of Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition, and I can say with certainty that it is my favorite edition of the game.

What I Miss?

It might go without saying, but with my diminished game time this year I certainly didn’t play everything I wanted to play. I have yet to play a game of Blue Rose, and this year Green Ronin also put out Modern Age, which I haven’t tried yet. I’ve also had a hankering to play more Venture City or perhaps try Masks by Modiphius. Then there’s also the revamped Numenera books, the re-release of Monster of the Week, and so…many…modules for D&D 5E. In truth, with what I have in my games folder, I have enough games to keep me busy for many years to come.

Maybe I’ll get to some of these in the New Year? Only time will tell.

Shades of Things to Come

2019 is promising to be just as busy as 2018. That said, I intend on getting plenty of gaming in. Currently, I’m committed to a bi-weekly digital group that’ll be starting up in the New Year as a player: I believe some OSR adventures and Vampire the Masquerade 5th Edition are on the cards. It’s promising to be the most game time I’ve spent as a player in my tabletop career. Just ponder the possibilities.

Also, as I hinted at earlier, I will be returning to the Dresdenverse with multiple sessions utilizing multiple sets of characters that you’ve seen before, all in one overarching narrative. The first session of this will be Strangersand will pick up where we left Alex Blackheart and Kaden Nuru. Date is TBD, but I’ll let you all know here when it’s coming.

Finally, I am rolling out my own Vampire chronicle over on Myth Weavers using the upcoming Chicago By Night text. The coterie has already been assembled, and we’re wrapping up some pre-game bits before starting in earnest in January.

It’s already shaping up to be a full year in 2019, but before we get there lets send off 2018 properly. Have a Happy New Year folks, and remember…there is no Fate but the one you roll!

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