14
Apr

Obsidian Portal Campaign of the Month April 2019 – First Blight

“Rumors say there’s trouble brewing within the Tevinter Imperium”; “I’ve heard tell of increased patrols by their military”; “Well I heard there’s whole tracks of land gone barren!” – if only they’d known then what we know now; that this was the beginning of the First Blight – April’s Campaign of the Month! If you love Dragon Age as much as we do, then this is an adventure you don’t want to miss! So join us as we interview jaythegreenling and find out more about this awesome campaign.

https://db4sgowjqfwig.cloudfront.net/campaigns/192617/banners/848223/OP-Banner.jpg?1523301646

First off, feel free to tell us about the person behind the GM screen. Where are you from? What do you do both aside from gaming? Any alter egos? Spouse and kids? Where can we stalk you on the internet? Let us know if you feel so inclined!

I’m from Germany, and I’m still a baby GM of a little more than two years. I enjoy gaming, reading, and sometimes writing things. I’m not married yet, but I’m in a relationship of over 5 years. You can find me on Tumblr, if you like.

Tell us about First Blight in a nutshell. How did it come to be and how long has the campaign been going on?

It started out as a way for my friends and I to create our own little version of Dragon Age, and when people became too busy, I found new players on roll20, and they and I have been going strong for a year now. The campaign itself is supposed to be about the First Blight, and how it came to be. There is a big bad out there, and my players are only just getting the first whiff of evil seeping into the campaign.

 

In general, my players tend to get distracted by every tiny little thing, so often times entire sessions revolve around bath houses, shopping, exploring, or stealing things, which is honestly very relatable.

How regularly do you play, and where (or on what platform) do you play?

We play once a week, sometimes less, simply because life can get in the way. I’d love to play more, but we’re all in different time zones, which makes scheduling quite hard.

I’ve heard good things about the Dragon Age RPG. How do you like it and what do you find to be its strong and weak points? Why did you choose this particular game system?

I chose it because I love Dragon Age, and because I love D6 systems. I find them more balanced than D20s. I think DA is quick to grasp, the rules are simple, and there’s not a lot to learn before you get going. The downside is that it’s missing some of those mechanics you might enjoy in other games. Like item crafting or animal companions. I make my own houserules for things like that.

For those of us out there about to start a campaign of this style, we know there are a lot of places to draw inspiration from, but where do you draw yours from?

Sometimes it’s hard to get inspired, but images work pretty well for me. When I see a nice battlemap I come up with a way to use it. I also borrow enemies from other systems if I like their abilities or looks. Dragon Age doesn’t have that many, and it’s nice to be able to surprise your players. When it comes to story I’m often inspired by books I’ve read or things other GMs tell me. And sometimes I just have an idea out of the blue, and if I don’t write it down, then it’s gone.

Aside from Dragon Age, I’m sure you play other systems too, which ones do you play most?

I currently only play DnD5e. I used to play Packs, Shadowrun, The Dark Eye, and other systems, but most of my energy is focused towards playing Dragon Age.

How did you get into tabletop gaming?

We have a local group which advertises their meetings sometimes, and so one day a friend and I just went and joined our first game.

How long have you been using Obsidian Portal? What brought you to the site and what keeps bringing you back?

I think I’ve been using it for close to a year. I was looking for a way to make my adventure logs look neat and be able to sort them and this was the perfect place.

Your wiki customization is really slick, do you do all that work yourself?

I do! I just googled a lot of things in the beginning, until I got the hang of things. Lots of trial and error until it looked the way it does now. Which reminds me that it’s not up to date. Oops. The failings of a GM.

If you had to pick just one thing, what would you say Obsidian Portal helps you with the most? Do your players get involved on the wiki too?

The adventure log, for sure. I need it to keep track of things, and one of my players is writing his own version of the events.

How much time do you usually spend prepping your sessions, and how do you go about it?

I used to spend hours upon hours on prepping, but got pretty close to burning out. Now I only prep the essentials, and usually spend a few hours a week on it. Sometimes I need to do more, sometimes I can get away with doing less. If there’s a combat planned, there’s no need to come up with dozens of different NPCs, so those are usually the easier encounters to prepare for.

What would you say the single biggest highlight from your game has been so far?

So I was about to say that recently one of my players touched an eluvian and lost an eye, but according to my players, this is what I’m supposed to tell you:

 

[Player 1]: “Well, there were a few highlights. Like starting us off, after we get the hammer, by getting dangerously close to a dragon and wyvern fight. Then there was the rush to fight the cultists. Can’t forget the dash into the underground for civilians after the darkspawn attack.”

 

[Player 2]: “Highlights? What about that time we all got drunk and someone got laid? Or what about the time we went to the bath house and someone got laid? Or that time we got drunk in the tavern and someone got laid? Or that time we drove the darkspawn from the sewers?” I’ll refrain from linking all of those just for their shenanigans xD But have this one.

 

[Player 3]: “Well if we have to leave out sexytimes, the Fall of Jader/the Mass Battle/getting our honorifics are all good notes to hit.”

Okay, before we get out of here, give us some of your best GMing pearls of wisdom.

Just do what makes your players happy (within reason). I’ve been forced into so many situations I didn’t enjoy by GMs, and I quite enjoy giving my players their freedom. If they wanna explore that completely mundane field of poppies nearby, then so be it, let them. As long as they’re having fun I’ve done my job.

Well my friends, it would appear that we’ve “slain” the proverbial archdemon of this particular blight, and the time has arrived for us to move onward. But don’t despair, for we shall return in due course, with another great campaign for your viewing pleasure. As always, we ask that you keep adding your favorite campaigns to the nominations thread, so that our user-led initiatives can continue to thrive for all time.

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