Bad Analogies, Kielbasa, and all-star D&D returns…

Hey there everybody,

It feels like it’s been a hundred years since the fundraiser, and it also feels just like yesterday. I don’t know if 2020 has permanently damaged my ability to perceive time in an accurate way, or if this is just my regular post-December recovery and fugue state.

Things are going good around here. Though as I type that, I pause and think, “Hold on, that can’t be right. Everything’s awful forever now. Right? Hold on. Let me check my notes….”

Then I riffle through some papers in my head and think, Yeah, it’s still pandemic o’clock. Politics… still there. Isolation and quarantine, check. What’s wrong with me that I feel like I can say things are good?

But… that’s not *all* that’s going on, right? Vaccines are happening, too. That’s nice. We haven’t had a natural disaster in maybe three months or so? I found a new Korean restaurant in town with really nice dumplings….

Oh. Also we have a new president now, which is pretty fucking great. And democracy is still… kinda here? Mostly? Like a car we weren’t sure was going to get us all the way home through the Furiosa-style dystopian wasteland, but it did. Sure we were driving the last bit on the rims, and the windshield is gone, and it’s chugging and smoking and it looks like we tried to have a poorly-negotiated threeway with an anklyosaur and Zuul. But it got us all the way into the garage, and now we can take a deep, shaky breath and spend a *lot* of time repairing it.

Okay. Maybe that’s not my best analogy ever. Let me try again.

You know the incessant low, thrumming dread you feel when you’re really nauseous for a long time, followed by the sour, hunched misery of puking your guts out? It’s a pretty universal human experience, and we can all agree for the most part that it sucks.

But do you also remember how *good* you feel when you *stop* throwing up?

I think that’s what I’m feeling right now. Like all of 2020 was me just puking and puking forever. And now that I’m not anymore, it’s just nice.

I mean, is this the world I’d wish for if I had a pet Genie? No. You can tell because Firefly is still canceled and pizza has calories.

But you know what? There are still good things in the world. Plus my books are here. Right now, I’m pretty happy with half a loaf.

*      *      *

So far, this year has been fairly low-key over here at Rothco. I’ve been catching up on my sleep and getting my house in order. (Both literally and figuratively. My underwear drawer is *orderly* folks.) I’ve been livestreaming over on twitch fairly regularly. I’m mostly continuing my second play-through of Numenera, but I also dipped in to do some Among Us with Felicia and her crew last week. A game where I was categorically bad at everything and was forced to resort to use my Bene Gesserit powers.

Here’s a moment from that stream that I’m particularly proud/ashamed of.

It’s the first highlight I’ve ever made of a stream, but I’m not smart enough to embed it here, apparently.

On the home front, I’ve mostly been focusing on spending time with the boys. We’re currently reading The Princess Bride (which starts really slow, but picks up nicely after the introduction.) I help the boys stay on top of their at-home school stuff and deal with not being able to see their friends in person.

(Yeah. I’m 100% that dad.)

We’ve also been wrapping up the Fundraiser. While most of the flashiness of that happens in December, there’s a lot of organizing that happens beforehand, and a lot of tying up of loose ends afterwards. But despite the mad state of the world, I think we’re more on top of those things than we’ve been in years. It’s a good feeling.

Those of you who were tuned in for the fundraiser this year probably caught some of the games we played online to help spread the word about our shindig. I *hope* most of you caught at least a few of them, because this year’s games turned out amazingly.

Especially this one:

Let me tell you, folks. I’ve played some D&D in my day. I hang with some cool cats. I even occasionally pull up on with the new whip,  though I’ll admit that’s exceedingly rare.

What I’m trying to say is that I’ve had the luxury of playing with a lot of really amazing folks over the years. So hear me when I say that this game was as much fun as I’ve had in YEARS. My first time *ever* playing a bard.

That would be impressive enough, but what makes it truly crazy is that this if the first time I’ve ever played with half of the other folks at the table. Brennan, Saige, and Aabria were complete strangers at the start of the video. And I didn’t even know B Dave four months ago…

Despite that, it was so much fun that at the end of it, everyone said they really wanted to come together and play again…. if we hit a follow-up charity stretch goal. It was terribly sweet, as they’re all busy people.

But we hit that goal. And now we’re getting the band back together. This weekend.

That’s right. We’ll be getting together to continue this adventure on Saturday, January 30th, from 2-5 pm, CST.

After we played the first time, I said I’d post up a blog with everyone’s info, so you could find them all on in their various fastnesses and demesnes out there on the webs.  I view this as a service to the community, as they deserve more attention than they get, and your dreary, turgid quarantine-laden existences will be vastly improved by getting more of them directly into your eye-holes.

(For those of you who have been waiting for this, sorry it’s taken so long.)

Our cool cast (and where to find them!):

B. Dave Walters is a Storyteller & proud Scoundrel American. He is best known as the writer and co-creator of Electropunk, Dungeons & Dragons: A Darkened Wish for IDW comics, and creator and DM of the Darkened Wish streaming show for Wizards of the Coast. He plays Baron Victor Temple on Vampire the Masquerade: LA by Night on World of Darkness Twitch and Freely on Silver & Steel on D&D Beyond on Twitch.

Taliesin Jaffe is an American actor, voice actor, ADR director and screenwriter. He is a regular cast member of the Dungeons & Dragons actual play series Critical Role, playing Percival de Rolo (“Percy”), Mollymauk Tealeaf (“Molly”), and Caduceus Clay.

Aabria is an American GM and RPG player that has contributed to a multitude of projects, including Failed Save on PixelCircus, Creature Collectors on Critical Bard, and hosting the Storybenders Podcast.

Performing Artist, Communication Specialist, Consultant, E-Sports Professional, Miss Oregon USA 2011, and overall Entertainer, Anna Prosser wears many hats, but for one purpose – to make a positive impact on the world around her! Anna can currently be seen on Echoes Of Eternity each Monday at 6pm PT and Extra Brains each Friday at 1pm PT on her Twitch channel. She can also be seen playing on Nights Of Eveningstar on the official D&D Twitch channel each Tuesday at 4pm PT.

Saige Ryan is an Actress, Host, Singer, and Dancer born and raised in California. She began dancing at the age of 3 and began her acting career at just 7 years old. You may recognize her from films such as I Heart Huckabees, Believers, Forget Me Not, and Maybe Someday, or her 40+ national commercials. The film Maybe Someday in which Saige plays the lead role of Abigail Donnelly was nominated for Best Picture at the 2016 Carmel film festival, and recently released on digital platforms. Saige can currently be seen contributing to the PixelCircus Twitch channel and streaming on her channel at

Brennan Lee Mulligan is an award-winning actor, writer, creator and producer. As a cast member of CollegeHumor, he wrote and starred in the sketch Tide CEO, which won a 2019 Webby Award and received over seven million views. He is executive producer, writer and Game Master of Dimension 20, a series produced for the CH streaming service Dropout, and also hosts Dropout’s fantasy gaming vodcast, The Adventuring Academy. Brennan is author and co-creator of the popular webcomic and graphic novel series, Strong Female Protagonist, which was selected as an Autostraddle Favorite, and was on io9’s list of Best New and Short Webcomics.

Little is known of this rare salt-type murder-hobo. This elusive narrativore does not take well to captivity, and while rarely seen in the wild, he occasionally strays near urban areas, where his barbaric yawps can be heard for a distance of up to two miles at night. Sleep cycle: Crepuscular. Mode of locomotion: sessile. Verbosity: Gregarious with occasional yeeting.

God it’s late. I don’t know what I’m even saying anymore. Bed for me.

Hope y’all are well. Hope to see some of you this Saturday for the game….


This entry was posted in a billion links, a few words you're probably going to have to look up, Beautiful Games, cool things, gaming, geeking out, videos, Worldbuilders 2020. By Pat63 Responses


  1. Chelsea Shepherd
    Posted January 29, 2021 at 12:39 PM | Permalink

    I join my voice with TONS of readers in saying we are so happy that you’re in a good place! It makes everything better– work, kids, hobbies. Add in delicious dumplings and things are definitely looking up :)
    Take care of yourself and have fun with the boys!

  2. Adam S
    Posted January 29, 2021 at 2:25 PM | Permalink

    I love seeing HappyPat posts! Or any Pat posts, but happy ones are the best ones.

    • Posted January 29, 2021 at 2:49 PM | Permalink

      It was surprisingly hard to write. It felt like, “What do I even talk about if not how bad everything is and how to cope with it?”

      Also, I felt oddly superstitious writing it down. Like it would jinx it.

      Here’s to hoping I get to write more of these. I think I’m going to start doing the One Good Thing Posts again, too. Those were fun…

      • Josh
        Posted January 29, 2021 at 3:37 PM | Permalink

        Yes, but in acknowledging the jinx, you have now created an anti-jinx, which under the Second Law of Jinxodynamics, cancels out the jinx back to a zero state. So it’s all good.

        • Posted January 29, 2021 at 4:47 PM | Permalink

          *takes notes*

        • Jonathan
          Posted January 30, 2021 at 9:16 AM | Permalink

          The Smallwood Corollary states that the Second Law only applies if you acknowledged the jinx without conscious intent to apply the Second Law. So Pat’s all good in this case, but future Pat will have to forget that the Second Law exists in order to make use of it again.

          • Posted February 1, 2021 at 9:06 AM | Permalink

            I love this so much. Hat tip to you, sir.

  3. Chloe Webb
    Posted January 29, 2021 at 3:10 PM | Permalink

    What a wonderful update! The food looks marvellous compared to some of the marshmallow pretzel icing sugar “pigs” I attempted to make with the children at my school last week, think pink squishy bow legged monsters with a side of sticky. I’ve had the same revelations regarding the state of the world, it’s not great.. but things seem to be turning towards something slightly better. I wish you and your loved ones the best! You are truly an inspiration Pat. For that I thank you, have a wonderful day.

    • Posted January 29, 2021 at 4:47 PM | Permalink

      Oh man. I want to see this…

  4. Matt P
    Posted January 29, 2021 at 3:17 PM | Permalink

    Always Look on the Bright Side of Life :)

  5. Victor Krylov
    Posted January 29, 2021 at 3:30 PM | Permalink

    “Sleep cycle: Crepuscular. Mode of locomotion: sessile. Verbosity: Gregarious with occasional yeeting.”

    Now I might be only passable at using the English language. But those words have to be made up. I mean how does one even locomotion in sessile way?

    • Posted February 1, 2021 at 9:07 AM | Permalink

      “I mean how does one even locomotion in sessile way?”

      Gloriously, of course.

  6. Posted January 29, 2021 at 4:06 PM | Permalink

    I’m with you on the Firefly and pizza thing…the world isn’t fair!

  7. Joe
    Posted January 29, 2021 at 5:43 PM | Permalink

    Pat, you’re the god of evocative imagery.

  8. Marina
    Posted January 29, 2021 at 5:46 PM | Permalink

    Glad to hear things are looking up for you! We all need good news after the neverending gloom of 2020.
    Also, is that Weird Al on your plate?

  9. Nathan
    Posted January 30, 2021 at 1:32 AM | Permalink

    Thank you for posting that highlights video, I really enjoyed it. Your powers of persuasion are truly disturbing!

  10. Sandhya Harris
    Posted January 30, 2021 at 4:42 AM | Permalink

    Such a joy to see/hear YOU again! I have missed you muches.

  11. Indigo
    Posted January 30, 2021 at 6:51 AM | Permalink

    Great to read you are in great spirits Patrick.

  12. Tina
    Posted January 30, 2021 at 8:29 AM | Permalink

    The universe is hard enough to appease right now as it is, but when you have to include home schooling, full-time child entertainment, and be chef of the year, things can feel even more overwhelming than ever. We can only try to make the best of it and enjoy the extra time we get with our kiddos before they decide they are too cool to want to be around us. It sounds, and looks, like you are knocking it out of the park! Firefly and no calorie pizza? Yes please! Stay hopeful, keep using words that make people want to learn more and telling wonderful stories! We will be here waiting for more.

  13. Petra the Bookicorn
    Posted January 30, 2021 at 9:34 AM | Permalink

    I’m so glad you’re feeling better and hopefull, Pat. And I’m so incredibly excited for the game! I love all the players but I *cannot* wait for Mossbrow, he might be the best D&D character I came across.

  14. Karim
    Posted January 30, 2021 at 5:00 PM | Permalink

    I am about 0% surprised you’re that dad. I am surprised that Saige Ryan isn’t a philosopher. Ya know, since we’re celebrating good times here, some recent book recommendations would be nice! Your Goodreads hasn’t been updated in a while. No pressure. I read Sal and Gaby the other day—reading a children’s book is a rare thing—and enjoyed it much.

    Re:Wasteland: It is a hope that the presidency affirms that democracy and freedom are fallible and fragile, and that diligent citizenship is a constant duty. Or so this non-American hopes for you lot, anyway. The rest of us endure in our own battles. If only.

    • Posted February 1, 2021 at 9:10 AM | Permalink

      I second the reading rec’s request. Anyone read Tom Miller’s Philosopher’s Flight lately? I liked it. I think it would appeal to Pat’s readership. Maybe you too, Pat.

  15. Ryan Wallace
    Posted February 2, 2021 at 6:14 AM | Permalink

    There is a dungeon master that I have been watching when it comes to DnD and I would love to see you play with him. His name is Arcadum and he streams on twitch.

  16. Posted February 3, 2021 at 12:56 AM | Permalink

    Running a few days behind (on account of raising a Level 1 Human Bard and having no claim of my own to ‘Time’ as a temporal object), but finally caught the second installment of the ssweeettt Worldbuilders D&D game… Tossed a Twitter follow out to all the lovely talent I hadn’t already been following in hopes that they’ll eventually come back for subsequent games, and just have to say that I love seeing some of my absolute favorite people having a great time together. It’s the kind of thing that just keeps me afloat. :-)

  17. Karl
    Posted February 3, 2021 at 12:38 PM | Permalink

    First time caller, long time listener. It didn’t occur to me to read The Princess Bride to the kiddos! Which is seems like something I can remedy. Thanks, if unintentionally, for the idea!
    We just finished the WondLa series, which was a lot of fun. Pro tip: go for the voice of Lance Reddick when you read the Rovender parts. It totally works.

  18. Ehtovk
    Posted February 3, 2021 at 5:14 PM | Permalink

    26 days!

  19. Ehtovk
    Posted February 4, 2021 at 12:36 PM | Permalink

    25 days!

  20. Ehtovk
    Posted February 5, 2021 at 8:39 AM | Permalink

    24 days!

    • Dirk
      Posted February 6, 2021 at 10:01 AM | Permalink

      What kind of countdown is this?

      • Ehtovk
        Posted February 6, 2021 at 10:51 AM | Permalink

        It’s a countdown to the 10th anniversary of Wise Man’s Fear.

  21. Ehtovk
    Posted February 6, 2021 at 10:51 AM | Permalink

    23 days!

  22. Blake
    Posted February 7, 2021 at 4:53 AM | Permalink

    I don’t know how I’d categorize myself. Maybe an optimistic/realist? You are alive, healthy, and maintained. I will chalk up most of the world’s current problems resides in the trash being crammed down your throat, currently named the media. The world is absolute s**t and getting worse by the second. Who has the effort to mope about it? Turn off the tele and get off your social media, look at the ones around you, and simply smile. One Family. You need nothing else. Enjoy.

  23. Posted February 7, 2021 at 12:10 PM | Permalink

    Hey Pat,
    I couldn’t find the contact form on your site. I even tried clicking the little dots above the “i”’s like in the good old days of secret internet pages!
    So I’ll post it on your latest blog post instead. I am glad democracy and some form of sanity has returned to the US too.

    Anyway. I know you’re a huge nerd like me and was a big fan of Ready Player One. Well I did a custom rebind of the book, and think it’s pretty rad. It comes in a converted Atari which has been made into a tray case.

    Why am I telling you this? Well I have a spare one if you want!

    Don’t know if I can add pics here. Don’t think I can. So kinda hard to get across how cool it is. I sent you a tweet on tweetzor if you can see that.
    Or google curious king books. Or don’t! Just thought it might appeal to you!

  24. james
    Posted February 9, 2021 at 1:43 PM | Permalink

    I don’t see any news regarding the release of the 10th anniversary of TWMF.
    Will there be one ?

    • Karim
      Posted February 20, 2021 at 5:37 AM | Permalink

      It’s up in the air, still! I’d imagine we’ll know for sure by the summer. (That being said, NOTW’s 10th anniversary had been announced by this point four years ago.)

      • the observer
        Posted February 22, 2021 at 9:21 AM | Permalink

        Well usually, an anniversary release should be released on the anniversary date, not 7 months later…
        I think the cold war between him and his publisher has something to do with it

        • Nadia Akkad
          Posted February 28, 2021 at 6:27 PM | Permalink

          Or the publisher wants a Q4 release as they did with the last one. Occam’s razor, honestly.

  25. Ailo
    Posted February 10, 2021 at 10:02 PM | Permalink

    I sent your twisted series of analogies to at least four people in the last five minutes. Let’s just say they RESONATED.

    Glad you’re feeling somewhat better :) I am too.

  26. Tungil
    Posted February 14, 2021 at 3:59 AM | Permalink

    I do have a question regarding the DND Level 20 stream:

    Sorry for my blasphemic question: when/where did the story with the “misunderstanding” about some kind of “rent” with some kids took place? (I refer to the story Lucient brings up to Mossbrown) I need more!

    Everyone: Take care, stay healthy!

    • Tungil
      Posted April 17, 2021 at 4:34 AM | Permalink

      No one? :(

      • Tungil
        Posted May 30, 2021 at 4:27 AM | Permalink

        Any hint is appreciated ! ;)

        • Tungil
          Posted June 26, 2021 at 3:53 AM | Permalink

          Still looking for it^^

          • Tungil
            Posted July 12, 2021 at 1:00 PM | Permalink


          • Tungil
            Posted July 27, 2021 at 3:49 PM | Permalink

            I can’t get enough!^^

          • Tungil
            Posted August 5, 2021 at 9:34 AM | Permalink


  27. Katie
    Posted March 4, 2021 at 5:47 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for the great update!

  28. John Clark
    Posted March 25, 2021 at 10:45 AM | Permalink

    Also on the good news front, though I am sure you have already seen this…

  29. Katherine
    Posted April 5, 2021 at 1:05 PM | Permalink

    I love how eloquently you have managed to portray the events of the last year. The car through the apocalypse scene in particular was perfect. The world was a scene straight from zombieland, minus the face eating people (unless you’re in Florida where bath salts make you do crazy things).

    I have been exploring audiobooks this last year thanks to Nick Podehl’s fantastic audio version of NoTW and WMF. As such, I found Andrew Rowe’s work that Nick narrated. It was phenomenal on both ends and extremely enjoyable.

    It would really be nice to see Andrew Rowe on one of these D&D twitches because he is such an avid gamer, and I know those of us who really enjoy both of your work would love to see a D&D twitch with each of you participating! Audiobooks have been the life saver of this last year for so many of us, so a big thank you for introducing us to the wonderful work of Nick Podehl through your writing.

    Hope all is well and you never cease to make faces out of your food, unless you’re in Florida, where you make food out of faces.


  30. Thomas
    Posted April 6, 2021 at 3:01 PM | Permalink

    This was harder to write then i imagine, but when you try to formulate a “thank you”-letter/note to a wordsmith you get self-concious. Not even sure this would reach you, but on the off-chance it does, thank you for expanding my world. The writing is so brilliant i wont even try to comment on that. But im sure alot of inspiring writers have seen your work and dismissed the idea of writing their own (i mean that in the best possible way), just they subtle way you describe thing, flawless.
    Kvothes journey gave me one truth, stories, are the best way to learn. Dals story about the Rue, eyeopener.
    I suspect the story Kvothe told his friend about the old beggar, might be a glimse into your third book, maybe Denna is just Denna. And Kvothe is just Kvothe. And that would be okay.
    Im looking forward to reading it, however direction it may take. I just hope you enjoy writing it as much as i enjoy reading your work. Art is not to be rushed, and if its imperfect, well most of the great works are.

    Hope you are well, and again thank you for expanding my mind.
    (also Kvothe is just shy of Raistlin Majere, of being one of the greatest characters written in a book).

  31. shawn
    Posted April 20, 2021 at 1:07 PM | Permalink

    Hey man,
    Would love to see you playing heroes of the storm or some warcraft :)
    PS : who needs that book anyway.. 10 years is nothing compared to the building of the great pyramid of Kheops :)

  32. Posted April 26, 2021 at 11:27 AM | Permalink

    Dual class into a bard/ranger! You get allll the magic! Also I’m happy to hear you’re doing well!

  33. rick
    Posted May 4, 2021 at 2:57 PM | Permalink

    Did you finish polishing the part of the stolen princess ?
    I used the single form since it seems it’s not stolen princesses like written on the first books but only one princess…

  34. Cary
    Posted May 20, 2021 at 5:30 PM | Permalink

    Hey Pat. It’s been a while since we’ve heard from you on here. Just wanted to let you know I check your blog every day hoping for an update! Not on DoS or anything, just anything you have to say. I always enjoy your blogs, man. I hope you’re well.

  35. Charlie Gibson
    Posted June 3, 2021 at 7:30 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for the good thoughts. You mentioned that you are passing the noumener. I have something to say about this game: the fact that we have before us the spiritual heiress of Planescape, is felt immediately. In Tides of Numenera, battles take a minimum of time, and most of them are easy to avoid, the main source of experience and money is talking. This role-playing game, like the original, asks philosophical questions about the world order, without seeking to impose the correct answers. Even the principle of storytelling was inherited from Planescape: we either carry out various tasks in fairly large cities, then we rush through narrow story tunnels. Moreover, as before, the main character goes to the final meeting with fate from the place where he began his journey.


  36. Nicole
    Posted June 9, 2021 at 8:20 PM | Permalink

    Hey, I just wanted to say that I saw you’re involved with the Literary Tarot deck on Kickstarter! I can’t believe how they got such an amazing lineup. I had no idea tarot had gotten so mainstream! Would love to hear your thoughts on Don Quixote, starting off the deck with the Fool, or your own connection to tarot. But even if not, it’s amazing, and I’m really looking forward to getting a copy into my hands! Hope you’re doing well <3

  37. LongFan
    Posted June 14, 2021 at 11:35 AM | Permalink

    Pat man, you doing alright? I get that uploading a post is a time-consuming experience and that you might have better things to do, but a little update on your general status would be in order, wouldn’t it?

    Of course you’re by no means forced to do it, but only uploading at the end of the year for the fundraiser feels…”alarming”, for lack of a better word. I guess Twitter is good enough but maybe give us a brief summary of what you’ve been up to. I feel like we’ve been stuck in this dynamic for the last two or three years now, and every year the distance between updates increases.

    Anyway…take care, remember to drink water and all that.

  38. Troy Pitschman
    Posted June 17, 2021 at 6:14 PM | Permalink

    My mom has the same plates as you!

  39. emma
    Posted September 2, 2021 at 3:29 AM | Permalink

    After we played the first time, I said I’d post up a blog with everyone’s info, so you could find them all on in their various fastnesses and demesnes out there on the webs. I view this as a service to the community, as they deserve more attention than they get, and your dreary, turgid quarantine-laden existences will be vastly improved by getting more of them directly into your eye-holes.

  40. James hawkins
    Posted November 25, 2021 at 2:51 AM | Permalink

    Thanks for the good thoughts. You mentioned that you are passing the noumener. I have something to say about this game: the fact that we have before us the spiritual heiress of Planescape, is felt immediately. In Tides of Numenera, battles take a minimum of time, and most of them are easy to avoid, the main source of experience and money is talking. This role-playing game, like the original, asks philosophical questions about the world order, without seeking to impose the correct answers. Even the principle of storytelling was inherited from Planescape: we either carry out various tasks in fairly large cities, then we rush through narrow story tunnels. Moreover, as before, the main character goes to the final meeting with fate from the place where he began his journey.


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