The Yarning Portal mazzmatazz's blog

Sorry I've been away so long!

Whew, sorry about that! I was feeling bad for a lot longer than I'd hoped, but things are certainly improving now.

The faster internet has been installed for some time now, and the stream quality I am now getting is excellent. Now I just need to find time to fit in my DM Tutorial streams - I've already scheduled a regular crafting stream on Monday nights which I call "Stitch and Twitch".

I've also been trying to keep myself occupied by keeping up with the creating, and made some really cool things, including a hat for Chris Perkins and a doll of Holly Conrad's DCA character Strix. I'm eternally grateful that I get to speak to some absolutely amazing people on a daily basis because of D&D. It really has changed my life.

PLUS! I've been interviewed on a couple of podcasts recently, talking about being a DM and sharing little bits of advice. Check me out on Lysa Chen's Behold Her podcast, as well as Insight Check!

Anyway, thank you for bearing with me not updating the blog during this time, and I'll get working on that streamed tutorial for building a town within the next week ... I need one for my campaign anyway so that's a perfect opportunity to share the process with you all!

Keep critting those d20s!


Apologies, a delay

I'm very aware I haven't made a blog post this week. I wanted to post a tutorial every Thursday, and this week I truly intended to continue my Homebrew - Starting Small series. Unfortunately, a few things got in the way.

I wanted to do a livestream in tandem with the post. That can't happen at the moment because there's been a delay on upgrading my internet. I just found out that I have to wait until the end of the month. That's a real kicker, because I the streamed tutorial was something I really wanted to do.

I also have had a really bad couple weeks with my depression. I could feel it gnawing at my psyche for some time, and last week it finally got to the point where I couldn't distract myself or deny it any longer. I had to just admit defeat, accept that it was here, and let it happen. I've been riding it out since, and taking it easy on myself. That meant I've had to put a few things on hold, and this blog happened to be one of those things.

So I'm probably going to keep the blog on hold a little longer. It takes one thing off the plate and gives me a bit less pressure. Once I get my internet upgrade, I can look at planning a streaming schedule and linking posts in with that. I'm really excited to show everyone how I do things, and discuss it with you all. I am always learning too, and I'm sure there are some great ideas and suggestions out there that I've not come across yet that you can share with me too.

I hope you can all bear with me whilst I adjust and prioritize things shortly, and I honestly cannot wait to get this upgrade and get streaming on a more regular basis. The internet should be ready in time for my next live game with the Slay Belles, on the 3rd Feb! Keep an eye on my Twitter for more information!

In the meantime, keep rolling those 20s!


Feeling that Christmas Spear-it!

Whew, what a few days! I hope everyone is having a good holiday season. I know it can be a difficult time for some of you, so my love to those who are finding it tough. Soon 2018 will be upon us, and we can only hope that the New Year will bring good things.

The livestream went AMAZINGLY, once we got past the technical issues. OBS and Skype had been working fine in my test call earlier in the week, and I was confident I had set everything up as needed. However, on the night, the window failed to port in correctly on my group call and I couldn't make it work. Thankfully Rudy of Don't Split The Podcast swooped in, made a Christmas miracle happen and saved us all! If you haven't had a chance to watch it yet, you can find it on Don't Split The Podcast's Twitch channel for the next couple weeks, as well as on my Twitch as a permanent upload, or on my YouTube channel. (Please excuse the screen being adjusted at the start, Rudy was working his magic for us.)

Thank you to everyone who came along and watched! I was very touched by comments made in the chat. I couldn't watch it whilst streaming, DMing requires 100% of my focus, but I went back afterwards and scanned through the logs on the VOD. Before the game I was nervous about the NPC voices I do, so to hear that people liked those was cool. And someone said I make DMing look easy ... that means A HUGE AMOUNT! I want to make D&D as accessible as possible to everyone, which is the point of this blog. I believe that if I can successfully DM, then anyone should be able to, and if I can demystify the process enough to make even one or two people put up that screen and start leading players through a game, then I am proud to have helped.

I had an absolute blast playing with Noel, TK, Lysa, and Moth, and we hope to get together again soon for another game. I am very proud of the adventure I created, and it prompted me to write it out 'properly' and publish it on DMsGuild! Considering I got it out on Christmas Eve, and it's Boxing Day here today, a bunch of people have already downloaded it, and some have even contributed which is incredible! It's Pay What You Want, and whilst of course, being jobless right now, money is great, I'd also like to hear some feedback. It's my first attempt at formally writing an adventure, so I know I can definitely improve.

Anyway, I really should go. Although I got to celebrate Christmas yesterday for the first time in a few years, today is traditionally when my family does the Christmas thing together, and I need to go bake some cupcakes for later. Over the next few days I'm going to be setting up and starting my text based games, and also I'm looking to run a short stream on how to prepare a pre-written module for playing. I'll update my Twitter with that information once I decide when.

I hope the rest of 2017 is kind to you, and that 2018 brings you many good things!


Always trying new things...

It's scary to do new things, but unless we keep doing new things, life becomes stagnant and boring, and we never grow. So this weekend, I am doing two things I've never done before.

First, I've uploaded my very first piece of DMsGuild content! It's a festive themed character sheet, and it can be found here. I know it's very close to Christmas so I probably won't see as many downloads as I'd hope, but even one or two people enjoying it would be cool!

Second, I am DMing my first livestreamed D&D game on Twitch! I'll be running some really cool people through a homebrew Christmas adventure I've written especially for the holiday season. Catch us at at 9.30pm EST tomorrow (23rd December). I'm very nervous about running this, but with the people I'm getting to play with, it won't be anything but incredible fun!

As ever, thank you for reading!