That… was quite a month. Not so much for the game or the blog, but for me personally. For those of you that have been following my struggles, you will be happy to learn that I’m back to blogging and being a part of the community after a 3-week hiatus. For those that were unaware of what was happening and why the blog was so quiet this month, I’ll explain it further in this article. There was just a lot of stuff going on that had higher priority than the blog. I like to be open about this, but if you are not interested in any of it, I’ll save it for the second half of the article, so that you can just have your update and leave.
No real news out of FFG this month, meaning we likely can’t expect new content before the repackaging of the Angmar Awakened cycle. With AleP just having released the Glittering Caves, there was also no news from them. So it has been a quiet month on that front. It did help the newer players who joined the game, as a lot is already available, and they have a decent roadmap on what to buy next. So without having to discuss the news, let’s go over the few articles released on the blog this month.
I have begun rewriting some of the Shadows of Mirkwood articles! I have released the rewritten Hunt for Gollum this month, which helped me to get my mind off of things. It was the first article I wrote in my new office, and I discovered that it hadn’t really impacted my productivity! So good news! I will be doing the other 5 scenarios of the cycle as well this year, but spaced out a little and mixed between the Nightmare scenario analyses and the other articles. Work has also continued on the Passage of the Marshes saga scenario analysis, which will soon be ready for release as well. This sees us continue the LOTR Saga past the halfway point.
At the beginning of the month, the article on the Nightmare Siege of Cair Andros was released. This allowed me to finish the Heirs of Numenor Deluxe in Nightmare mode. I have already begun the draft for Nightmare Steward’s Fear, but this will take a bit longer than usual. The APs are more complex in their mechanics, and with the Nightmare versions building onto those mechanics, you can imagine the article will be pretty long. Still, I have more than enough time to complete the cycle, even if I stick to a pace of 1 article per month on this series.
I always enjoy writing April Fools articles, and while I didn’t write a sarcastic take on an undeveloped trait or brutal scenario, the article was still fun to write. Some people were even worried that I did, in fact, start an NFT series. No need to worry; it’s not happening. I am strongly against cryptocurrency and all the affiliated nonsense that it comes with. But I have been following some creators who discuss such projects, so I thought I might as well write a bit of a parody for it. An hour in Photoshop yielded enough NFT-lookalike pictures that I even got to use on Twitter and Discord on April 1st. It was fun to see the reactions and then the relief when people found out that it was just a joke. There were no other articles released that weren’t a part of a series this month, but maybe inspiration will strike next month for something.
Before we start talking about the future, let me take you back to what happened to me personally this past month. As many of you know, I haven’t been in the best place mentally for the past few months after I couldn’t attend conventions and lost my job back in December. Add to it all the little things that happened since then (including really stupid things, like a broken-down washing machine the day I got back from holiday…), and you can understand that I have been struggling a bit. Good news came last month when I got hired for a new job, but it did mean that I had to move from Rotterdam to the rural south of the country. And finding a house when you are unemployed is difficult.
Luckily, I did manage to find a place, and I organized everything for the move. And that is when life thought: “Hmm, things seem to be looking up for Daan; let’s kick him back down.” And so I got the news that my father had been admitted to the Intensive Care Unit at the hospital and that I really did have to hurry in order to see him again. For reference, I got this news 15 minutes after I heard I got my new house. There was no time left that same day, so I had planned to go to the hospital the next day, which is when the rail company’s planning computer decided to break down, causing all trains nationwide to not be able to go anywhere. And at points like that, you feel pretty helpless. Luckily I got to say goodbye to my father the day after, but I had to go back home because of an appointment I had made with the car dealership to pick up my new car the next morning. That would at least make me independent of the trains for the foreseeable future. I was really happy with the new car, but I wasn’t even in my neighborhood yet, when I got a call from a family member saying that the doctor couldn’t do anything anymore for my father and that they would have to let him go. But they needed my permission for that, as I am his oldest son. That… was hard.
My father died that evening, and I now had to plan both a funeral and my move to my new house, all within the same week. Because of that, I really had no time to interact with the community much or even consider writing an article. During the move, I also didn’t have access to my computer, so that delayed things even more. I could explain things further in-depth, but I think you all understand that I wasn’t really in the best place during all of that. Luckily, the funeral went well, and 5 days later, I was packing up my things for the move to my new place. I’m thankful for one of my writers for helping me pack! That goes to show how awesome the community actually is.
Right now, I am doing ok and am preparing myself to start my new job on Monday. I have no idea how this will impact my productivity on the blog, but we have enough in reserve to at least fill out the month of May. Once that’s over, I’ll have an idea of how often I can continue to write and publish articles, about which I will update you all next month. I just want to thank each and every one of you who have voiced their support for my family and me in this difficult time, and my inbox is always open should you want more details.
With me being gone from the blog for a while, I also have not been working on the loot that much. But that was not an issue, as I had left after I had finished all my prep last month. The cover art has been further improved, and more work is being done on the contents of the book, but we are not at a stage yet where we can share images yet. I hope that most of the remaining work can be done over the next 2 months, after which I can start figuring out where to ship everything to.
One thing that is important to note is that this is your final chance to sign up for the loot by joining the Patreon for Vision of the Palantir. If you join at the $3 level or higher, you are entitled to receive the loot later this year (assuming you stay pledged throughout). Patreon supporters at the $10 and more can also receive an extra item of their choice in a poll later on. This will be an additional reward for funding the blog so much. I have explained all details in the past, but please subscribe to the Patreon of the blog before May 1st! This is why this article was released a little earlier. I will be in touch with everyone as you subscribe so that you know your name is on the list I’m making for when it is time to start shipping the items to everyone! Support this year is higher than ever before, so I hope to not have to ask for shipping at all!
~Aa’menealla nauva calen ar-malta~
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