Path to org-roam v2
In my opinion,
Org-roam🔍 is among the best things that happened to Emacs during the last 5 years. Forget Zettelkasten method,
org-roamis a solution for non-hierarchical note-taking regardless of methodology you are worshiping.
org-roamis very close to release of V2, the first major redesign affecting both users and authors of libraries extending
org-roam. And while PR remains a mere draft, V2 is so amazing and is so much more stable than V1, that my advice is to drop the chains of old
org-roamand embrace all the goodness V2 brings.
When I’m running and preparing Campaign: New Vistas in the Thel Sector I make extensive use of
org-roam. It functions like a super-charged personal
wiki 🔍 that I can extend. And as I wrote in Molding Emacs to Reinforce Habits I Want to Develop, I think migrating my blog to
org-roam as the likely end game of my blog management.
Why? Because I already use
org-roam as a database for my non-public facing notes. I manually extract things from
org-roam that I want to publish on my blog. I’ve made extensive use of
Hugo 🔍 shortcodes and layouts, so this migration would be non-trival.
Take a look at my Hugo theme if you’re interested. With all of the cross-linking I do, it takes 9 seconds to build my whole site. Before the massive cross-linking effort the build was about 1 second. While 9 seconds is slow, I assume any
Emacs 🔍 based export from
org-roam would be an order or two slower.
Landing in the Lost City of Omu
Using the Bingo Style Experience Points, we started the game writing up the outer ring of the Bingo Board. Bingo chips can be taken off the board to be used as Inspiration.
Okay, I’ll admit, Judd’s Bingo Style Experience Points slipped past my notice.
However, in reading through his Landing in the Lost City of Omu post, I see the tool in action and can’t help but love it.
For the readers, I’m going to transcribe the base bingo board image into an HTML table. See Table 223: Judd Karlman's Bingo Style Experience Points Template for a non-image version of the bingo board. Then I’m going to add the specific bingo game board that is in play for this leg of their Tomb of Annihilation 🔍 adventure. See Table 224: Judd Karlman's Bingo Style Experience Points for Exploring the Lost City of Omu.
|TBD||Thwarted a rival||Discovered secret lore||Made a dangerous enemy||TBD|
|TBD||Overcame a challenge with cunning||Free space (counts as completed)||Recovered ancient lost treasure||TBD|
|TBD||Earned the trust of a wondrous ally||Added a new detail to the map||Saved folk from the tyranny of monstrous beings||TBD|
|As a group fill out the TBD squares to reflect the kind of game you want to play.|
And below is the table for the Lost City of Omu.
|Pivot the adventure to a new direction…||Follow the most simple and direct path…||Turn a difficult/tense situation around with humor||Cut losses and retreat rather than face further loses||Save a comrade's life|
|Help somone achieve a good death||Thwarted a rival||Discovered secret lore||Made a dangerous enemy||Spring a trap on a mighty foe…|
|Granted mercy to a fallen foe||Overcame a challenge with cunning||Free space (counts as completed)||Recovered ancient lost treasure||Do the deed that will inspire the name of the group|
|Voluntarily leave a prize behind||Earned the trust of a wondrous ally||Added a new detail to the map||Saved folk from the tyranny of monstrous beings||Redefined an old relationship|
|Make a boast and act on it||Patch up a feud||Choose a different path when violence is the easiest way||Build a bridge||Trade stories with an enemy|
As I think to one of my favorite Tomb of Annihilation sessions— The Stage is Set for an Epic Battle in Omu) and the conclusion King of Feathers Brings the Chomp —I’m mentally checking off what all my group had done.
And I think crafting that bingo board is a great way for the table to telegraph what they want to see in the game. Another way of looking at it is that in the Old School Renaissance (OSR 🔍) you often reward Experience Points (XP 🔍) for Gold Piece (gp 🔍); in later editions you might reward XP for a quest or defeating a monster.
This bingo board encodes those concepts, and as a group facing board helps them see specifically the kinds of things they said they would do to advance their characters. Which, if you blur your eyes a bit, is kind of like Beliefs, Instincts, and Traits (BITs 🔍) in Burning Wheel Gold 🔍; and definitely like flags from Shadows of Yesterday.
Experience leads to skill score increase, and ageing leads to attribute score decrease.
A saving throw against ageing is easily portable to other systems.
You do not become invicible, you become weaker. Your power grows, but you’re not holding the dagger. Your head cools, you’re leaving the youthly gardens of the short term. The game has changed.
I yearn to play the long-running campaign. I think to The Great Pendragon Campaign 🔍 and the assumption that you start as a young knight, and perhaps they retire, so you play your character’s child.
I see those long-running stories as something that was foundational to my childhood and young-adulthood relationships. A group of 7 or 8 of us would play the same characters for a year or two. And then other campaigns would start with portions of that group and new members. Then we’d mix that up, so that in a group of 15 or so players, each person had played in a few campaigns, but not everyone in all of the campaigns. Together that cohort of 15 shared wonderful stories.
And I suppose I want to revisit that experience, as it created some of my longest lasting and deepest friendships. Perhaps this is the greatest insight into why I write session reports.