Wow...been a while. Sweeping away the cobwebs. Lots of stuff happening.
Gamewise: I tried to run Barrowmaze. The game report last presented was a highlight of sorts. The group was not particularly happy with my poor rolls and my too strongly held integrity of letting the dice determine most of the events. I mean, a random encounter should happen randomly, not be planned or forced. So, we talked about it and decided to try for some of the published modules/dungeons/adventures out there. I had recently gotten Barrowmaze and offered to run it. General sounds of glee and excitement ensued. Then came 10 grueling sessions of chaos and dullness. I think I screwed up something somewhere. Because our experience was boredom and frustration. BM looks like a cool place to explore. The book has lots of interesting art as well as hints of something deep and evil and threatening. But, running it was difficult. Giving descriptions was more work than I ever remembered from my old 1e days in college during the early 80's. And some of the rooms didn't make sense. So, with 10 sessions, a couple of deaths, no major gold or XP to make the exploration worthwhile, we called it quits. Then, more discussion. This time, we're going to go old school and do the early 1e modules. Starting at 4th level with The Moathouse from ToEE, then going into A1 through A4 (the Slavers series). If the interest holds up, we may opt for GDQ.
But life interfered. I started teaching an Astronomy course. I hadn't even taken an Astro course since college (again, early 80's). Of course, such Astro courses are to give the mathematically and scientifically challenged a course in the subject they can pass. This means "not the most motivated" of learners. I was advised to use lots of PowerPoint with lots of images and few words if I want to keep their attention. Adding animation is a given. And so, every night, I sit down and spend a couple of hours putting together a presentation for the next week, while also keeping an eye on when to go observing with them (a lab grade) and keeping up with the grading for the other classes as well.
So, until I can find free time again, which probably won't be until late May. And then it's time for the NTRPG Con. With this potential schedule, I'm not DMing until middle of June at the earliest. Luckily, one of the players is also a DM who wants to runs some stuff at the con. So, we're now all guinea pigs as he tests out new ideas and a couple of adventures. It's nice to sit back and play for a while. And not feel guilty about it.