Who said it was allowed to be October already? I blink and a week’s gone by, and while probably not nearly as busy as the previous two had been, I did get a few things accomplished this week I’m not unhappy about.
For my disclosure on this or any of my posts or pages… please visit my Disclosure page.
To start with I managed to wrap up the edits for Adventure Hook Episode 35: Unhappy Halloween. This was of course our Halloween episode, and for it we definitely went fun and spooky… but also ended up also going really dark. Or, as I say in the show notes for this episode:
Admittedly, most Adventure Hook episodes are kind of Halloween episodes. Nevertheless… this time it’s actually Halloween! So let’s get right to the spooky…
The Adventure Hook guys start this holiday episode off with some delightfully campy old skool slasher mayhem and follow that up with a dose of some secret society creepy criminal cultish chaos… and then skip right past all that stuff and go darker than ever before by delving into some seriously real concepts of horror. A few of them end up becoming so intense that the guys end up needing a pallet cleanser, and so circle back around again to a much safer (yet still quite spooooky) Trick-or-Treat scenario for a charming Halloween themed game… again, at least to start with! Yet long after the episode ends… those horrors imagined in the town of South Alem will likely linger on with the listener still…
Did Adventure Hook finally go too far this time? For some people, it’s quite possible.
Whether it’s a True Detective inspired Southern Gothic-style the Crucible meets Cthulhu or an 80’s satanic panic kids on bikes-style Willy Wonka meets Halloween III, you’re in for the most nightmarish of mashup episodes imaginable. But, then again… too much additional explanation here simply risks spoiling the show.
I also started on a few mock ups of the promo art for this episode, which I’m not totally sold on, but I think at least one version works.
I also made sure to upgrade our d20 episode table with the latest hooks I could get.
I’m actually pretty psyched because in our most recent episode we ended up rolling Jenny’s #newadventurehook idea, and so next time we record an episode we’ll be developing this concept:
A seamstress once sewed with such passion that her enchanted works became heirlooms that passed down their blessings (or curses) to the families that inherit them. Many people covet them.
And so on that note, this week Aaron and I recorded what will become Adventure Hook Episode 36: The Melting, which was an idea submitted by none other than Hjalmar Nordén of Red Moon Roleplaying (who’s also excited to hear how it went when this one gets posted):
A shock melting of a glacier sends the party riding a flood wave into an ancient ruin.
And speaking of, I’ve discussed it with them and starting this week on Patreon (next week on iTunes) I’ll be releasing our seven-part To Baator and Back episodes on the Blackspire stream.
We ended up exploring some interesting (and naturally somewhat Lovecraftian) ideas in that Adventure Hook episode, but perhaps most interestingly – one of our Patreon supporters had submitted a banter topic to expand on our previous episodes discussing the Holy Hexagram and the Alphabet of Desire.
His question was concerned with relationships between the non-ally/non-adversarial points of the diagram (namely Death-Fear-Love and Hate-Desire-Life) and how to think about them for writing/storytelling. It was a good question that got me thinking, and decided I’d tackle my responses also from, the magickal perspective. I included a bit of Qabballistic and Planetary ideas into the discussion (while still completely forgetting to plug my YouTube lectures) which hopefully made for some worthwhile advice to open the episode with.
And on that note, this week my YouTube channel crested 900 subscribers. The milestone goal of 1000 (and slight monetization) is not actually unreasonable at this point, especially considering I haven’t created any new content for it in ages. I still occasionally get new comments on my videos, some very nice (more less so) but I’m not really feeling the pull to create anything new at this point.
Additionally, on the Blackspire front I finally managed to get together and record that stand-along side session I’d been meaning to do to resolve the unfolding story of the St. Jezebel character. Our session started off strong, but of course 40 minutes in the new laptop I’d been using suddenly froze up, and I was seriously convinced at the time I was going to lose the whole episode. We stopped play, and discussed coming together for the next group session, crossing our fingers we’d be able to salvage what we’d done. Fortunately that evening I was able to recover the Audacity file after a hard reboot, and so while we didn’t quite get the session to where I’d hoped, we’re still in a good spot for next time. I need a higher level Patreon episode this month soon, so I may end up using this one to fill that spot if I don’t use the other less-than-stellar recording I have of the last side session I did with Jenny’s character Claerydia.
I also still have side sessions to plan and run for the Solina and Jolly Paul characters, but first things first I need to deal with the Season 2 stuff…
Because, speaking of losing files, it’s turned out the opening session for Season 2 is simply not usable. Other technical problems aside, the echos in the room during recording are just too much. I don’t even want to listen to it (even though our content is great) so I really can’t expect the listener want to. However, we’re still scheduled to play our next group session together next week, and after a great deal of agonizing over it, I’ve opted to more or less scrap what we already recorded and we’ll re-record our S2E1 gaming session when we next get together.
I really, really hate the idea of a retake, as my goal is always the authenticity of the game (and the idea of explaining it all “for the first time again” hurts my head), but for the sake of the podcast we really need to a strong open, and audio quality is a big part of people’s perceptions, and so I need to always be putting our best foot forward.
Otherwise there’s really no point to any of the rest of the work I put into it, huh..?
I need to find a way to remove myself (and my weird jinx-y energy) from the arenas of technology (specifically the quality of recording/reproducing my work) and those of promotion… or more specifically self promotion. The magician in me knows it’s all somehow self-inflicted, but despite my various different (yet still always unabated) endeavors, I still somehow manage to have the opposite effect I desire when attempting success at those things. I freely admit there are probably many important responsibilities that really should be left out of my hands so I can focus on the handful of things I actually am good at… but where my weaknesses continue to show, I won’t be stopping my efforts, just continuing to at least partially fail at them until I can finally manifest the real help we need.
And I may be one step closer to that depending. It’s way to early to tell, but there’s a possibility of getting some more outside support for the show. We’ll have to see, but I’m hoping to work something out where we may end up with a promotional partner to the program, and one which might even potentially help us secure a more professional recording set up. Could be a great opportunity, or at least the chance to make a new friend. I don’t want to say any more than that, but I’m supposed to have a meeting around this idea with just such a potential sponsor this week.
The timing seems right anyway, and I already have a dozen ideas of things we could potentially work together on. We shall see…
And on the comics note, I learned I probably need not have rushed quite so much to get my script for “Iceland’s Last Yule/First Christmas” wrapped up and sent off to my new editor, as at this point it’s not yet finished being read. I was trying to buy the poor artist as much time to develop my “Yule Lads” story as I could for her… and believe me if I thought I had another week to work on that project, I definitely would have taken it.
Not that I’m not happy with the finished piece… and who knows what might have been different if I’d spent more time, but that sense of urgency to finish might have driven me to push myself to a limit I’d not have otherwise gone. Given what I accomplished start to finish in the span of just two weeks gives me confidence I can do it again… and even to consider tackling some larger projects that had otherwise eluded me.
Like the ever daunting, neigh insurmountable task of creating the Reliquum Role-playing Game (as I envision it). It used to feel absolutely impossible, and while there’s still so much of it I can’t do, at least now I feel like providing my portion of its content is finally just on this side of inconceivable…
There’s some neat stuff on the docket for the next week (to say nothing of the next month) but not the least of the impending stuff (aside from all the Blackspire biz) is Jenny and I’ll will be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary…
So ten years married next week, plus it’ll also be my 41st birthday. Our plan is to make yet another day of it at the Renaissance Festival, just the two of us this time.
So stay tuned next week for Jenaissance Faire: Part 2… plus probably a few more wedding photos who will also be celebrating a birthday…
Moon: Capricorn (50% Waxing)
If you’d like to start from the “beginning” of all this… you can read from my first blog post.
For my disclosure on this or any of my posts or pages… please visit my Disclosure page.
Art & Magick, Comics & Gaming & how they all tie together. Creator/GM of the #BlackspireRPG Actual-Play & co-host of #AdventureHook podcasts.