State of Scribequest

I’ve been running Scribequest for almost four months now and I feel that now is a good time to reflect on what worked, what didn’t, and what my plans are moving forward. I am going to discuss each story-strand separately, moving from oldest to newest.

In my oldest currently running group I play Glurf, a Toad Cleric, who is at the time of writing level 7. I am recounting her adventures in chapters of the Special Spirit Squad. Since our first session was marathon-length and packed with content, I am still only portraying the very beginning.

I feel that, when it comes to the quality of prose and enjoyment of story, the Special Spirit Squad has made for the most compelling Scribequest narrative. Since there is always at least 6 months between the ‘events’ I am describing and the time of writing, the plot has been given an opportunity to crystallize. I can use some touches of retroactive storytelling to single out which events were important and which were less so. I also feel less compelled to describe everything every player does in great detail, since most of it has been forgotten anyway, and I do not risk discrediting anyone.

I have not updated Special Spirit Squad for the last few weeks because I have been busy preparing and running a new campaign, but I definitely plan on giving it the bulk of my attention. There is a lot of rich content to adapt for months to come.

Next up is Jangles, who is now a level 2 half-elf bard. The whole of Scribequest started because I wanted to play a character that kept a journal of his adventures. In a sense, Jangles is me; he is the Quest Scribe; his is the Scribequest.

Having said that, though, I do not think Jangles’ story has been as compelling as it could have been. By writing and publishing the chapters days after each session it has been difficult to maintain a sense of continuity. In long-running campaigns, it is not always obvious which paths will turn out to be tangents, and what becomes core part of the narrative. Jangles’ journals lack focus and direction.

I also put a limit on the narrative which needlessly complicated the storytelling. Because Jangles’ journal is an in-character document, I only wanted to have him write when he had time to write in-universe. Since our sessions tend to be short, time in this campaign is strongly condensed. One day might take over three sessions in which Jangles has had no time to write. I feel like I have to make a decision: get rid of that gimmick, or allow the story time to breathe.

I have therefore decided to put Jangles’ story on a temporary hiatus. Our group is still gathering on a weekly basis and steadily moving forward. I think Jangles will probably continue writing when his adventure in Dryfoot comes to a conclusion. Some really interesting stuff is happening, so you can definitely look forward to that. You haven’t heard the last of Jangles.

Next up is Tomas Janszoon, the level 3 aasimar paladin I play with friends in my kitchen. I was originally planning on adding Tomas’ story as a third narrative on Scribequest. Since we play in Dutch, this story would also be in that language. Sadly, I had a fatal hard-drive failure that erased all of my progress on this adventure.

If any of you are interested in reading my Dutch prose, I might pick up Tomas’ story in the future. For now, his adventures will take place outside of Scribequest.

Finally we have my latest venture, the Whitehorn Company. Here I am the dungeon master. I definitely want to bring my experience dungeon mastering to Scribequest, but I am still struggling with the format.

I adapted the first session in great detail (Parts I, II & III and Session 2) – too much detail, taking up way too much time. For the second session – which ran way longer – I stuck to writing a short summary. When I DM I tend to write these of every session anyway, so I see no reason not to share them with you.

For now I will probably continue sharing session summaries as well as behind-the-scenes insight on world-building and such, I have a few fun articles planned.

TL;DR: Jangles going on hiatus, Special Spirit Squad going strong, still struggling to find the right format for the Whitehorn Company.

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