Month: December 2019

To Great Friends, a Tribute to D&D

As I begin to write this, I can say with the utmost confidence that a campaign I’ve been running for over 18 months is barreling towards an ending. I’m not sure if it’s the ending the players will want– hell, I’m not sure if it’s an ending want, but it certainly is getting there. As I write this, I have ran 94 sessions, the first of which began on April 10, 2018. There were ups and downs, emotionally draining days and ones where none of us could stop laughing; there were times when someone was miserable and wanted to be anywhere else, but for those 4-6 hours on what was probably a Tuesday or Saturday night, we all tuned out the world and told a story together.

Because that’s what D&D is, isn’t it? The amount of calculations and interactive details you can get in a video game today won’t be topped with a few dice. No amount of words I can conjure will give as vivid an image as the rendering of wounds from the latest AAA game. But the one thing D&D does, that no video game can, is tell a story. Games have limits. Worlds have limits. Writers must eventually stop writing a script, and send it for editing. But when you run a game of D&D for a few friends in a campaign of your own design, those limits don’t exist. Instead, what you have, wholly unique to the tabletop genre of gaming, is cooperative storytelling. And it can be weird, but when it’s good with a few friends– it’s so very, very good.

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Posted by Robert Wall in Tabletop, 0 comments

One more, for the road?

It has been a long, long time since I tried to write something even remotely blog-like. Branching Dialogue, as a website, was used as hosting for my other projects and anything resembling its original incarnation seemed to have fallen by the wayside, for better or worse. But I miss writing. Every time I read some long-form review for some random game from 15 years ago, or see a recommendation on Youtube for a 3-hour-long video essay, I get that itch to write again. So here we are again, I suppose?

This isn’t the first time I’ve written one of these, but with hope it’ll be the last. This time around, I’m not doing some overt marketing scheme, or trying to get some sort of following. I’m just writing to, well, write. So, while I can’t really assume that anyone is ever going to read this, I’m still going to write. I don’t know yet if it’s going to be my thoughts on the things that have taken over my life since last I used to write, such as more tabletop gaming (D&D, etc.) or introspective articles about who I am as a person and why video games shaped me into that person. But most importantly, it’s a way for me to dump a lot of words that no one cares about into my corner of the internet which, coincidentally, no one cares about either.

So I can’t say for sure what I’m going to be writing about just yet, but this is the way it’s going. Maybe it’ll be stories of my gaming conquests, or stories of my unending D&D campaign I’ve been running for a year and a half now. Whatever the case may be, I’m excited to try and write things once more, pushing them out into the unending ether of the internet!

Posted by Robert Wall in Meta, 0 comments