Friday, June 24, 2011

Help a Blogger Out

A while back I wrote about being a part of a community, and what that means.  Since then I’ve come up with another way that you can be a part of the blogging community: help someone out!

Now, before you get the wrong idea, I’m not talking about giving money for anything. Not birth, not death, not illness, not research, no money at all.

What I think you should give is some time and effort. It’s something you give with every blog post, and every comment, but there is another way to give. As you read through the various blogs that you follow you see ideas that get put forward; monsters, magic items, classes, races, even whole adventures! Sometimes you see something that just doesn’t quite work. Chances are the author knows this, but doesn’t know what’s off, or how to fix it.

But you do. Or you at least have some ideas.*

Recently Dylan aka the Digital Orc posted an adventure called Death and the Lady which involved some crazy cultists and the xenomorphs from Aliens. It was interesting, but it needed some work. Here is where I did something different. Rather then just moving on I printed it out, and read it though it a couple of times. Then I started making some notes. Then I turned those notes into a post, where I dissected everything I thought was wrong with the adventure.

You didn’t miss it because I didn’t post it.

I turned it into an e-mail, and I sent it off to Dylan. I wasn’t sure how he would take my critiques, and I must admit I was a little worried about it. He replied rather promptly and thanked me for my thoughts, and said he’d get back to me. A couple of days later he did, addressing my thoughts and critiques. He even went ahead and shared part of our e-mail exchange!

Another example is the amazingly prolific Bat of Ancient Vaults. I have no idea how, but he daily posts a new spell, monster, magic item, or god. Most of the time I think his creations are both wonderfully imaginative and fairly well balanced, but there have been one or two that we’ve commented back and forth on, discussing the finer points, be they charges, XP value, or anything else that I think could use tweaking.

I am currently reviewing a copy of Lord Gwydion’s Flying Swordsmen RPG to edit and review. I’m really looking forward to getting into this one because like many of you I’ve been generally unhappy with the way monks and their ilk are portrayed in DnD. I expect that Lord Gwydion and I will be going back and forth, and that this will take some time, especially considering this first draft is 79 pages long! Time that I could spend mapping, painting, writing blog posts and comments, or even mowing the lawn... ok, maybe that last one isn’t really a big deal, but you get the idea. But the way I look at it, it’s probably going to be time well spent.

*One thing to keep in mind is that just because you’ve offered your opinion doesn’t mean they’re going to rework their project for you. There have been times were people have told me “thanks for the comment, but I think it’s fine the way it is.”

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