A Change In Format – World Building Wednesday

When I originally set out with the weekly world building wednesdays, I had good intentions of using it to keep me working on world building. For a few reasons, I am coming to terms with needing to make a change in regards to that. It may have been noticed the last couple weeks I have missed the post, and I have been late on posts in the past too. The recent ones I have been missed have been a result of me actually being a part time student as part of my work apprenticeship and the class I am in has needed more attention to it lately than previously. Aside from this, there has never really been a good and consistent format when it came to these posts. Some of them were huge narrative pieces, some were small pieces about a specific item. Both are important, but not coming up with a good format made each week kind of a scramble to figure out how I wanted to get something out there.

I do not have any intentions to stop world building however. I may continue to do the larger world building posts that I have done previously on a rarer occasion, but I want to put more focus onto getting bits of things written down that don’t warrant a full blog post as well. If you are really curious about the work I am doing on Erylia, I strongly suggest following it on World Anvil. I’ve mentioned World Anvil many times recently because I truly do love the service. One huge thing is it is helping me with getting things organized and leaves me areas that I can go back and fill in as I am ready. There are even some things that have been added on World Anvil that can be teasers for things that haven’t come up anywhere else. Just today, I added a new category for another continent, Ail Saheyd.

As sad as I am to be letting this go in the form it has been previously, I need to have my main focus elsewhere, namely my apprenticeship through work, the actual podcast, and my home life.

Slight Delay On Erylian Epic Ep 1

Unfortunately I am going to be delayed a day or two on the first episode of The Erylian Epic. The nature of our first time recording in almost 2 months lead to a slightly more chaotic recording session. As a result of this, the audio from the first session is longer than our goal for episode lengths of 90 minutes. However, it wasn’t enough for 2 episodes of that length either. So, later this week, you will be getting  an extra long, 2 hour and 15 minute episode to kick off the new arc! I apologize for the delay, and if it was our standard episode length, it would be ready to go right now. 1 hour and 45 minutes of the episode is done and ready to go, but the next 30 minutes will take longer than I can give tonight.

Gourselks – World Building Wednesday

Ah. The mighty gourselk. You may have been wondering about them if you read the short story, Cassien’s Dishonor, a few weeks ago. Gourselks are a creature that I actually created on the fly for that story. The gourselk is a staple creature of the underdark and is largely docile. When I created it, the gourselk is essentially the cow of the drow.

So, what exactly is a gourselk? Well, a gourselk is a large creature, typically 3 to 4 feet tall, 6 to 8 feet long, and weighing between 800 and 1300 pounds as an adult. They are fairly slow moving creatures and resemble a sea cucumber. They live on a diet that mostly consists of mushrooms that grow naturally underground. Depending on the area, gourselks can also be used to combat problems with mildew and algae that forms in damper caverns. Unlike the cows that are inspiration for them, gourselks cannot be milked. Their main use for the drow is a food source. It doesn’t really resemble meat as we know it, but gourselks are “meaty”, though the texture would be closer to tofu.

I do not currently have a stat block for running a game with these creatures, but do intend to make them available through DNDBeyond. You can find homebrew material created by me by searching for the author Erylia_DM there.

Soul Thistle – World Building Wednesday

Due to the work I am doing right now to get ready for the Erylian Epic launch, catching up on Patreon content, and also being in a more taxing class this quarter, I will be doing some shorter World Building Wednesdays. This one is one I had already done most of the work for in my DM Journal. This week is another piece of botany I have worked on for Erylia, though unlike bloodthorn, this is one isn’t a drug with mechanics attached to it.

Soul Thistle is an herb that is primarily known to be used in a ritual for a potential warlock to reach out to a patron and try to form a pact. Soul Thistle on Syvahl is generally an herb that is exported from The Faevale, however the Fae do not often deal with outsiders on their own, and it is very difficult to get to The Faevale. Due to this, not many people are able to get their hands on Soul Thistle, and those that do are able to charge a premium for it. There are rumors that a few people have managed to grow Soul Thistle on their own, but those who have keep the supply scarce to keep its value up.

Soul Thistle is a small flower that sprouts from a fuzzy looking bulb on its stock. The flower itself grows silver and it is said to react to the magic around it, giving it a slight glow in highly magical areas. For Soul Thistle to grow into a useful form, it must feed off of magic and absorb it, this is why it grows so natively in The Faevale, few other places are as magical. This also means that those who wish to grow it themselves have to nurture it with magic of their own, draining them of the ability to use it in the process.

There is a very small window in which you can harvest Soul Thistle. After months of absorbing magic from its surroundings, the bulb will begin to open up, allowing the magic to flow into the flowers petals. The petals begin to grow brighter and brighter until a single flower could light a small room on its own. It is during this time that the petals must be plucked and prepared. Once plucked, the petals will slowly begin to fade, but the magic that was released into them remains and they will continue to glow softly. They must then be protected and dried, because once a petal is crushed, it begins to lose its potency and will quickly become useless. If a Soul Thistle bulb opens and the petals are not harvested before falling off, the magic within them will quickly fade and the petals will darken, rendering them useless.

I’d also like to remind all of my readers here that while I intend to keep up my weekly posts here, I will be adding all of this content, and more, to World Anvil, so make sure to follow us there!

World Anvil – World Building Wednesday

This week isn’t going to be a post that’s actually about the world of Erylia. Instead, this post will be more for other world builders that don’t already know about this tool. As the Dungeon Master for Adventures in Erylia, I have come to absolutely love online tools to help make my work easier, more organized, and most importantly, digital. We have adopted Dungeon Fog for making battle maps, D&D Beyond for character management, and now I am testing out one for world building.

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Ny’Vae’Rehl and the Nailo Family – World Building Wednesday

I’ve been wanting to get to this post for a long time. Ever since the plot line of the Mieveht Story had its course set. With this week’s episode, An Emotional Encounter, I can finally post about the Nailo Family and their history without it skewing the story. I’m also doing something for the first time this Wednesday. Cassien’s history will be told through a narrative story instead of the more technical tone these posts have taken so far.

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The Week of Excuses, Expanded – World Building Wednesday

A few weeks ago, I was falling behind on things. It started with being behind on editing an episode, and that followed to not having anything written for World Building Wednesday. From that, The Week of Excuses was born. It was originally a pretty tongue in cheek statement to explain not having content on time, but I decided to run with it. At the end, I said that when I got to the calendar building portion of things, The Week of Excuses was totally going to be a thing.

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Something Different – D&D Tools in Alpha

When I originally started to use this website as a blog as well, it wasn’t really my intention to only ever do the World Building Wednesdays. But alas, with a family, a full time job, and a podcast to edit, finding the time for that has been difficult. Aside from the world building, I will probably never have a consistent blog schedule, but I want to start fitting more in. For today, there are some tools I am in the alpha for that I wanted to write about.

D&D Beyond – Mobile App

As a group, we have been using D&D Beyond since it’s official launch. It’s been a great tool for keeping a digital copy of (most) of our characters. It also gives me a good template follow for creating homebrew for Erylia. Two of them have even been approved for public use through D&D Beyond.

Last week, D&D Beyond launch it’s upcoming app’s alpha. I had pre-ordered a copy of Xanathar’s Guide To Everything on the site, which got me into the alpha test group. So far the alpha is in its early stages and can only be used for downloading and reading the content you have purchased. I have been taking advantage of this by using it to fill in more names for a random NPC generator spreadsheet while on breaks at work using my phone.

Even without the app, I have found the D&D Beyond website to be a very mobile friendly experience. I have used it on my phone while running the game to quickly look up information. I also play in a game of Storm King’s Thunder that Chris is running, where I exclusively manage my character with the mobile website. I am definitely looking forward to future updates to the offline app though. After the holidays I know they plan to work on updating it to bring more features like character management and creation.

If you’re interested in how testing is going, here is a link to the feedback forum for the alpha.

DungeonFog – Alpha v5 Update

I have yet to do any sort of write up on DungeonFog at this point, but it has been mentioned on the show. It is a pretty straight forward map creation tool for table top gaming. The maps are created on a grid, so it’s main focus will probably be battle maps or virtual tabletop maps for now. I haven’t done any sort of write up or review for them yet because I want to shine the best light possible on them when I do. I have personally submitted a lot of feedback while using it, but since it is in alpha, it is not quite where I want it to be before doing a full review. However, the guys there have come a long way since the alpha went live.

Just this week, Alpha v5 was released, which is their first iteration with the dynamic GM notes they have been working on. I am super excited for this to help with giving me written text to explain what is on the map. I think they will be great since the podcast is an audio medium, so if they tool is working well, it will hopefully aid in visualizing the setting for listeners. They have also announced that they are about to move from their Alpha stage into Beta testing early next year. This should open up the pool of testers quite a bit and increase feedback and conversation within the testing group. If you are interested in helping shape the tool, and just can’t wait to use something like it, you can pre-order it and gain access to the alpha and beta test groups!

Early Stages of The Calendar – World Building Wednesday

I made a calendar for Erylia pretty much back when I started working on it. It’s not very good and I never really did anything with it once I had the base started. I decided that it is time to start working on it. Not only because I want to start thinking up holidays and festivals (and the week of excuses), but the cycle of time should be important to the story as well. Continue reading