–Guardiani del Destino by Rhapsody of Fire
–Sacred Power of Ranging Winds by Rhapsody of Fire
Been listening to Rhapsody of Fire’s album, SYMPHONY OF ENCHANTED LANDS II. I highly recommend it if you appreciate epic metal. Christopher Lee voices a character in it and the next album, TRIUMPH OR AGONY.
It’s midsummer, and the mercury is higher than ever. A lot has been going on lately, so this entry will be full of updates about what’s been going on.
Before anything else, I have to say that I decided not to pursue the Master’s degree this semester. I just felt that I was forcing myself into it and I couldn’t really truthfully answer the question “Why are you taking this degree?”. There are just so many issues that I need to deal with; forcing myself into this position would not really be healthy. I wasn’t taking these steps by God’s guidance, and I feel that if I continued pursuing this right now it would only make me miserable.
I still plan on taking my MA in Education, but not right now. I need to subject myself to some deep meditation regarding my future plans and God’s plans for me.
Some of my readers already know this. My brother has to undergo an operation soon; it’s not a life-threatening condition but the operation is necessary to prevent him from going sterile. Thankfully he’s alright and the operation is rather low-risk. Please continue to pray for him. My dad and grandma are going to supply most of the money; thankfully my summer seminar was canceled, freeing up my schedule so that I could take care of my brother while he’s recuperating.
Ink and Dungeons
I’m always one for finding new ways to do things, and this summer I came up with the wild and slightly insane idea that will help Inkwell,, Philippine Science High School’s creative writing club, become less of a typical CW org and actually be, well, creative.
As such, I decided to start a new practice in Inkwell: Dungeons & Dragons. I’ve been reading the sourcebooks for the past several months, and I’ve learned the basics.
For starters, D&D is not, as many people think, an occult game. It is nothing at all like using a Ouija board or Spirit of the Glass; simply put, D&D is interactive storytelling.
The basic premise is that one person, the Dungeon Master (DM), designs an adventure (usually the exploration of a dungeon or cave filled with monsters and treasure) where the players create their characters and interact with the DM’s setting and Non-Player Characters (NPCs) to achieve a goal of some sort. Whether the player characters (PCs) are noble or despicable, they find ways to get around the DM’s challenges with their skill, wit and imagination. The DM may incorporate several adventures into a campaign, an extended storyline split into several adventures that are essentially chapters in a novel.
Characters may be straightforward fighters who specialize in weaponry, rogues who employ their special training in stealth and a variety of esoteric skills to aid the other characters, clerics who use the divine power to support their allies, or wizards who can deal with threats in a wide variety of ways. There are other main character archetypes: the Paladin (a holy warrior), the Ranger (a hunter skilled at fighting particular kinds of creatures, the Barbarian (a tough, wild warrior who employs brute force), the Druid (a character whose magical power comes from nature), the Monk (an ascetic martial artist who adheres to strict disciplinary codes to improve oneself), and the Bard—a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none who can make everyone else better at what they do. There are many other classes which represent the character’s specialization. Learn more about D&D’s basics here.[link]
So what on earth does this have to do with writing?
Roleplaying is very much like oral tradition, if you think about it; just that there is a lot of individuality (character creation and roleplaying) and luck (dice) involved. Transcribing the adventure sessions is like recording an oral epic, and due to the individuality and randomness involved, plot devices (I’d like to believe) are kept to a minimum. The only real plot devices will come from the DM, who may choose to save the lives of adventurers who are about to die. The stories will be compiled and then published in our annual litmag, Dalumat. What’s really good about D&D is that the gaming system is very modular and can be applied to any setting, even one that isn’t the traditional medieval fantasy.
I’m really looking forward to what my students will come up with; hopefully this will be successful and will become an institution that will be permanent.
Oh, by the way: I did find a very helpful reference for our Forgotten Realms-based campaign here.[link]
Your Black Lion