Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Tabletop is Theatre, Videogames are Film

Theatre and film are intimately linked mediums of artistic expression. They use many of the same core ingredients (visual, sound and dialogue, time, performance) and even employ most of the same optional conventions (experienced in a single sitting lasting a couple hours, uses non-diegetic music, usually presents the action in its own space and told in roughly real-time for most or all scenes, etc.). Obviously there are exceptions where one medium is used to do something quite different, such as documentary for film or an interactive murder mystery dinner theatre for the stage. But they are closely related media, with film arguably descended directly from theatre. Early film even copied most of theatre's conventions, such as all the action taking place on a "stage" viewed from a single, fixed camera angle straight-on, as though the screen at the movies was meant to be used as an illusion to replicate the "stage" that the audience was used to sitting in front of.
This clip is from King John, filmed in 1899. When movies were new, one of the first things they did with it is adapt Shakespeare, naturally. But as with all art, eventually film went on to discover its own strengths, doing things that you can't do with theatre.

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Hidden Grove of the Deep Druids: an adventure I drew for

Longtime reader Harald Maassen just released a really tight dungeon adventure called "Hidden Grove of the Deep Druids," which I contributed artwork for!

It's available as a Pay What You Want download on the Dungeon Master's Guild. Worry not though. It's a decently system-flexible adventure good for all medieval-ish fantasy dungeoncrawlers. If you are a 5E player, it provides some lite mechanical support to run the adventure in a more old-school way.

The premise? "Evil druid cult." An ever-elusive archetype but one that I think Harald has nailed here. If you've never used druids as villains, you should really give it a whirl.

It's a medium-sized dungeon that's non-linear, has lots and lots of dangers (especially weird fungi), and has clean and helpful formatting. It'll make a fine addition to anyone's collection of solid, vanilla-yet-tasty dungeons to slot into their game.