Thursday, March 22, 2012

Questing for a Quest

I've been told to prepare a Dungeons & Dragons quest for this upcoming weekend. We'll be having company, and there'll be plenty of time for a hearty one-shot campaign. A whole afternoon or even a whole day of tabletop roleplaying? I've put such things together with less time to prepare before. The trouble is, my mind has been elsewhere this time around.

If you couldn't tell from the posts this month, I'm high on a YouTube kick. I just wrapped up nearly two years of video work on one project, just released one big experiment of a video, and am already prepping for my next video series. I'm getting caught up on all the comments I haven't responded to, and my creative attention is pretty squarely focused on YouTube, at least when I'm not redirecting it toward my ongoing GameCola endeavors.

Writing about YouTube has been rather effortless; strong opinions flow easily onto the (electronic) page, and posts centered around a single video take very little time to draft. Combined with the low-pressure deadline of having something up by 1 PM, and the reduced e-mail banter between Alex and myself because of his new job, I've been dedicating less of my time to the blog, and my other creative endeavors have been claiming that extra available time...but it's not quite enough extra time to make me feel like I need another side project.

That's where D&D comes in: If I want to write a new campaign, it's gotta be a proper side project, and not just something I chip away at when I feel like it. My best quests have generally been the ones I've thrown myself into preparing, and especially considering this might be the first quest in a brand-new world, I want to do this right. I've already got some ideas swirling around upstairs, but I've needed the push to do something with them.

I was participating in a GameCola podcast last night, and one of our conversation topics prompted me to dig up my Monster Manual. Simply opening that book, glimpsing the familiar images as i went to look something sent a spark into the back of my mind where D&D has been lurking, and now a tiny creative flame burns within my brain. I find myself reminiscing of the times in college when I got lost in world-building, and I catch myself staring off in the direction of the display shelves holding my larger-sized D&D miniatures.

I'm also finding myself finally back in the mood to return to Morrowind and levitate around the countryside some more. I had been playing the game fairly regularly until the week I ramped up the recording to finish my final Mega Man 6 video, and it's been difficult to convince myself to go back to trekking across the continent to fill in the unexplored dark parts of the map that are bugging me. With some time away from Morrowind, it's much more apparent how much of an enormous time-suck it is. An unexpectedly fun and engaging time-suck, to be sure, but not as productive as pouring that same amount of time into recording a video or writing an article. Looking up from YouTube for a few minutes has reminded me that I could use some time to disengage myself from my side projects and immerse myself in a relaxing fantasy world.

There might be hope for a proper one-shot quest this weekend after all.

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