Category Archives: Random musings

Recommendation: Kestrel Investigates

I guess Monday is a good day for off-topic posts. But what I am about to share with you, is just too awesome. I recently stumbled upon a web series called “Kestrel Investigates” about a British paranormal investigator called Agravain Kestrel and his elusive cameraman Mike. At first glance it might look like just another shaky paranormal investigation video blog on YouTube, but instead it’s a very British satire of the genre. In my opinion it’s brilliant!

Two series have been released at this point, and series three is currently being worked on. I have enjoyed every single episode tremendously and I can’t wait to see how the story of Agravain and Mike continues after the cliffhanger ending of the second series!

And to give this post some RPG-related spin, you can watch it as inspiration for the “The Unexplained” tabletop RPG. You can check out my review of said game here.

Let’s talk Minecraft

Yes, I know. This is a tabletop roleplaying game blog, not a computer game one. But it’s also still my personal blog, so I guess a small detour from our regular content is in order.

Minecraft is a game that I started playing pretty early. I guess it was still in an alpha phase back in the day. The game was simple but allowed for a lot of creativity. The survival aspects added a sense of urgency and danger to the game and eventually the game also got a proper ending with “The End”.

But Minecraft became much more interesting for me with mods. Nowadays there are countless mods for single and multiplayer. Mods that add creatures, new machines, new mechanics, different world generation, and much, much more. These days I prefer to turn Minecraft into a more peaceful, constructive experience by playing modpacks focusing on technology and machines.

Instead of being a survival game, Minecraft becomes a game about building machines and complex logistical systems. My wife for example is more interested in building cool houses and creating elaborate farms, so we recently decided to build a modpack suited for both our play styles (and there’s also a small side project more focused on technology). I also started a dedicated blog about my Minecraft shenanigans. If you’re interested to learn more, I recommend you check it out.

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So why Minecraft? And why now? Minecraft helps me to be creative. I can easily create things in game. A lot of the gameplay is about building stuff after all. Other creative endeavors of mine weren’t so successful lately, so this is definitely a good thing.

So, let’s now return to our regular program. Winking smile

Podcast Recommendation: The Dungeon Master’s Handbook

This is a quick follow-up to my last post. I got in touch with Michael Shorten aka ChicagoWiz and asked him for advice on how to run old-school sandbox games. He pointed me towards the podcast he had been recording last year.

In the 17 episodes of “The Dungeon Master’s Handbook” he talks about how to run con games, how to design and run a sandbox campaign, and many more highly interesting subjects. What I particularly liked is the fact that each of the episodes is about 20 minutes in length. This is enough time to convey even complex ideas but short enough so that you can easily include it in a busy schedule.

I’ve listened to the first two episodes so far and I wholeheartedly recommend the podcast to everyone interested in old-school gaming. Unfortunately he ended the podcast after 17 episodes because of lack of audience and interest. I think it’s a shame because Michael has real talent and many DM’s could learn a thing or two from him. Perhaps some renewed interest in the existing episodes and some valuable feedback from new listeners might make him reconsider. Winking smile