Blog Archives

A Beholder balloon on a string

The Broadsword Bandits are back for more sessions of Dungeons and Dragons! Join myself and writers James McCann, Arthur Slade, Adrienne Kress, KC Dyer, Kevin Sylvester and guest star Susan Juby as we try to return a wayward Beholder to its retirement ranch. Of course, it’s never that easy when Beholders are involved. Or writers….

Who let the gnomes out?

The Broadsword Bandits are back with another instalment of Dungeons & Dragons! Join myself, Adrienne Kress, Kevin Sylvester, Arthur Slade, KC Dyer and guest gnome Lee Edward Fodi as DM James McCann takes us through his Beholder Ranch adventure!

What happens in the dungeon stays in the dungeon

Unless of course you upload it to YouTube….

The Broadsword Bandits are back for another episode. Watch authors KC Dyer, Arthur Slade, Adrienne Kress, Kevin Sylvester and myself blunder our way through a James McCann dungeon, falling into pits and wandering into medusa rooms, all the while trying to find an answer to the eternal question: “Where do I find that on my character sheet?”

How many writers does it take to escape a dungeon?

The Broadsword Bandits return for an epic fantasy battle with…. a rug…? Yes, that’s right — in my first foray into Dungeons and Dragons in a legendary amount of time, I decided to go check out a suspiciously nice-looking rug in a room full of ghosts. We all know what nice rugs in a dungeon are….

Mimics!

Anyway, watch how writers Arthur Slade, Adrienne Kress, Kevin Sylvester, KC Dyer and myself figure out how to escape James McCann‘s Rug of Doom!

Episode One Part Two:

Episode Two:

Back to the Beholder Ranch with the Broadsword Bandits!

What happens when a bunch of writers get together to play D&D? I don’t know but I’m sure we’ll all have interesting back stories…. Watch it live Monday, April 26! (Link for livestream.)

If you want the meta back story, this whole project came out of James McCann’s Dungeons and Dragons Resource Guide and the Beholder Ranch.

Breakout at the Beholder Ranch!

I had the opportunity to talk with James McCann of the Richmond Public Library about Dungeons and Dragons and the creative process, and it was probably the most fun I’ve had during the pandemic. D&D has always been a big part of my life and probably one of the reasons I became a writer — if you can handle creating a D&D campaign, you can probably write a novel or at least a short story! Check out the video interview where we talk about the magic of writing, world building, and why I secretly want to be a necromancer. Also, we come up with the idea for a Beholder Ranch adventure! It’s all fun and games until something kills you with a magic eye….

Keep calm and send the barbarian in first

My pal George Murray has written an essay for The Walrus about rediscovering Dungeons and Dragons in middle age and oh my God we have led basically the same life.

Things changed a couple of years ago, when I turned forty-three. I was well past cool by any stretch of the imagination. My wife and I had a ridiculous spread of four children between us, ranging in age from six to sixteen. Try finding a Friday night movie everyone can agree on. So I said, “What about a game?”

And suddenly, I was back. I unboxed my archives of maps and notes, all of it carefully annotated in a fourteen-year-old’s attempt at calligraphic hand. Drawings, stories, rules, maps; it was all there, waiting. And to my surprise, everyone loved it. Even my wife. The former track star was now an elven assassin. In fairness, she played mostly out of love for everyone at the table, but she played and had a great time. We all did.

Odd fact I just realized: when I play paper-and-pen RPGs I almost always play warriors, but when I play video games like World of Warcraft I almost always play mages or other ranged classes. I don’t really have an explanation for this other than maybe I’m antisocial and like to keep people at a distance?