Yesterday I mucked the stalls. After 16 months of neglect, the old "Lich House" was completely inundated with rotting piles of spam and junk comments. I suppose it's fine to have zero comment moderation enabled if you're going to weed the garden on a regular basis, but the Lich House had become a tomb overgrown with sketchy offers leading to the dark web.
I am putting a difficult year and a half behind me. Beyond the obvious (we've all been living through a pandemic) I've had kids go off the rails, serious home damage, and a tough work environment - challenges in multiple dimensions that knocked me off the internet for an extended time. We've all had those days, months, years, decades. For me it's been this past year. Things are turning around. It's time to dig out of the crypt again and emerge, hesitantly, into the cool night air.
I've still been running some games! I've had a kids and dad's group that's met regularly since about 2007, and while we skipped here and there, we mostly kept playing. We finished WOTC's Tomb of Annihilation and moved on to 5E's official megadungeon, Undermountain (official title - Waterdeep: Dungeon of the Mad Mage). It's a much-maligned publication by the Gen Z crowd. I'm determined to see for myself if 5E could be folded, shaped, and forced into behaving like a system fit for an old-school megadungeon campaign.
Oh, you've noticed 16 months away from the blogosphere hasn't dimmed my disdain for the Fifth? It's true, the love-hate relationship with modern D&D is still in force. My players adore this game system. I like my players and am willing to indulge them. I continue to see the Fifth as a personal challenge to prove that you can parrot more satisfying game styles from simpler times in the hobby. I'm doing it for science.
Here's what's next for me. First, I haven't been reading any blogs - I want to catch up with what people have been talking about the past year. I'll continue to split time between what's happening in the OSR discussions versus a few of the 5E-centric bloggers out there I used to enjoy. I'll also do some retrospectives on Undermountain to date and how I've managed to build a compelling dungeon exploration campaign for the Fifth around a 'big dumb hack and slash dungeon with no story'.