It happens from time to time.

Work takes up my day and leaves me mentally exhausted in the evening. Plus y’know, other responsibilities. I am still managing some things in the background, per my usual shenanigans of finding odd corners in time.

I haven’t posted a 5e update for a month ’cause A) one of our other players is DMing, and B) I haven’t had the time and energy to really “get on that.”

I’m also trying to decide whether it ought to go into the “Vecna’s Fifth” campaign, or if it should get its own page. Something about six months of a campaign feels like the right place to create a break. (For record-keeping, if nothing else.)

There’s also a wiki I’ve been working on for organizing campaign and world information. It’s sparse for a wiki but there’s already a lot there.

Fourth Light Campaign Wiki
Link: http://fourthlight.pbworks.com/

I decided to give it the name of one of my game projects that went unpublished, in part because it was a project I was working on when a couple of the significant, contributing campaigns took place.

One of the things I like about the wiki format is that it’s a uh, because it’s connected to information both tangentially, it has this “always-on” feel.

I think a major downside of the wiki format is that it lacks a temporal component and therefore lacks . . . relevance? It feels continuous, and yet also timeless.

Abstract. Eventually, once you’ve read a lot of a wiki’s content, it feels “tired.” In some ways, it’s like a library. And libraries struggle for relevance.

But they’re a great way to store and find information.

Some other stuff is in the works.

I’m refining a spell list that’s intended to serve as a, uh . . . I’m not sure exactly what I’d call it. A baseline. A standard, I suppose. I’m working with a lot of the iconic D&D spells and I’m trying to distill the list down to the most iconic, most important spells for each school.

I’ve already finished one draft, I’m working on a second.

In a way, this is a continuation of the project that originally sent me off on the path that led to the creation of this website, both comics, a novel or two, and lots of other little things. It’s a “master spell list.”

This time around though, I’m not looking for inclusiveness. Not exactly.

I know magic breaks the rules. It’s part of the fun. But there are some spells that shouldn’t be. They kind of ruin things. Some of those spells raise too many questions about the way the world works, others are jokes in poor taste, and some negate the need or desire for entire character types.

Magic spells, as a game mechanic, should complement gameplay. Not remove it.

A few spells that I’m thinking of cutting for example, include Knock, Create Food and Water, and Detect Secret Doors. These spells eliminate the need for lockpicks and crowbars, carrying food, and poking around in the odd corners of dungeons looking for things. They’re convenient. Too convenient.

One of the difficulties is trying to decide where to draw the line near spells that wizards invent to make up for their shortcomings.

Levitation is one of those borderline cases.

Wizards aren’t known for their climbing ability, and levitation has a large number of creative applications. You can use it to go up or down. Magic elevator.

Floating Disk is another in-between case but for different reasons. It doesn’t negate the need for any character type, though one might stop bringing porters along to carry loot after a fashion. But that’s cost-effective.

It’s different from pushing the thief out of the way and casting Knock.

So yeah, that’s what I’ve been up to lately.