The Ballad of Hal Whitewyrm

Chapter V: 15th of Alturiak, The Year of Shadows, 1358, Dale Reckoning

In which the hero winters in Shadowdale and changes his path in the Ruins of Myth Drannor.

Chapter V
(Click Here for the entire chapter)

Judd’s Favorite Moment

My favorite thing about this chapter is an odd one because it isn’t a moment, necessarily but something about the play-by-post medium, particularly in a one-on-one game. It seems to hold pretty well. Between two people, it is pretty easy to put a game on the shelf for a while and come back to it with fresh eyes a while later.

Because the artifact of play is play, it is easy to get one’s bearings again and jump back in.

The holiday season is a rough time to get together for my tabletop games and between the holidays and Daniel’s incredible exertion in this year’s NaNoWriMo, the play-by-post game was set aside but it is nice that we could agree to take a month off and get back into it.

Daniel’s Favorite Moment

This was a very challenging chapter in many ways. It was put on hold while I wrote my NaNoWriMo novel during November mainly because I see this game as a novel-in-progress and it was a lot of mental energy to keep two complex storylines going on in my head.

The other reason is the events in Hal’s life. They took a turn I never envisioned. There were a few times where I wanted to go all meta and stop the action, go against the organic flow of the story and turn it around to what I wanted it to be. But that would’ve gone against the very basic premise of a roleplaying game, and this Burning Wheel game specifically. I may be playing a character brought over from my youth, but his story is happening now. And it took me some time of staring at the screen to accept that we were heading in a very different direction and embrace it.

The third reason is the Duel of Wits that ends the chapter. Without going into specifics, there came a point where that DoW bypassed the character in the game and addressed me personally. And when that happened, I had to tap the mat. It was a very sobering moment, and quite precisely the moment that told me that I needed to explore this new road Hal found himself in all of a sudden, come what may.

It was an amazing chapter, one that could have very well been the end of this wonderful game/story, but wasn’t.

Readers, please feel free to post about your favorite moments in the comments. Thanks again for your comments and tweets. Your readership is immensely flattering and really does contribute energy to the game.


Judd Highmoon

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