Three New D&D Videos!

Been a busy year so far. The World War II RPG is in full swing behind the scenes and lots of new folks are checking out the Classic_DM You Tube channel.

I’ve added some new videos that both Players and DMs might enjoy!

  • Be and AWESOME Dungeon Master

  • Be an AWESOME Player

  • Jeff the Murderhobo






Tactics in 1st Edition AD&D

Great video for DMs to think about how to handle complex and improvised player actions in your game with simple ability score checks.

An insight on tactics in 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. Lighting, shadow, line of sight, positioning, NAT 20 NAT 1, called shots, balance, handedness, ability score check ideas for DMs, and how you can pick up a lot of great ideas from classic Wargames such as Squad Leader, Pike and Shotte, Warhammer, & Bolt Action.


Classic_DM & Eight Month Metrics

I thought I would share my insights on the Classic_DM You Tube channel at the 8-month mark and discuss some of the things I’ve learned. Maybe they’ll help you with your ideas!

Check out the channel!

Check out the channel!

The Classic_DM channel started on September 23rd, 2018. My goal was to honor the 1st edition of Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, celebrating the 40th year since I started playing in 1978. I did not have any miniatures, so I devised my own handmade tokens and a battle glass system so I could leverage my old school freehand architectural drawing style. I decided to make the videos as a creative endeavor. The goal was to share with a new generation of players the incredible magic of 1st edition. Secretly inside, I just wanted to be a kid again and relive those adventures my neighborhood friends and had nostalgia for.

G2 - Throne Room Train!

G2 - Throne Room Train!

As a Creative Director and designer in the video game industry, I also wanted something different. There are hundreds of people streaming D&D live with webcams, most of these are not all that fun to watch, at least for me. As a game designer and author, I wanted you to feel like you were at the table playing. To do this, I knew I could not rely on anyone else and it would be a one-man show. I wanted narrative and combat flow to feel exciting, to bring the characters to life with personality, meaning, motivations, and flaws. Think of a Netflix Series meets Living Book. Over time, we added a second camera and some minis and incredible audio ambient sound tracks created by Sword Coast Soundscapes. His work is top notch! Use his videos in the background next time you play!

Nastiness in G2- The Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl.

What better way to do that than a top down camera, dig up G1- Steading of the Hill Giant Chief, develop an original cast of player characters and rework the entire backstory. It’s still in The World of Greyhawk, but with a unique story and cultural flair.

I DM the game and make all the moves for the characters and enemies, talking about tactics, show all dice roles, run the viewer through the mechanics, tossing in my house rule interpretations along the way –much to the chagrin of some rules lawyers. It’s cool. Respect to all who play. I was doing this to relive my childhood and evangelize the core magic, not meet another person’s criteria.

Prismatic Spray? Check.

Prismatic Spray? Check.

The channel is at the 8-month mark and it has gone into some interesting directions. The play sessions are cool and some older players like then, since they don’t really play anymore, have families, and like to sit back and chill to some good old dungeon crawling. I also did a few experimental videos, such as a live map drawing series, a DM’s guide, and a guide to 1st edition. Here is where things seem to jump out.

I made a long series of videos that introduce 1st edition to 5th edition players and it seems to have caught on. Of course, my videos are all in one take, no post processing, no editing, I like to keep it real and feeling live –like someone is actually talking to you as opposed to ramming compressed data down your throat. Most You Tube channels are set up with the heavily edited method and are going for monetization. That’s not me. I’m not doing this for money, so I’m not interested in doing video edits for 4 hours to make a 10-minute video from 2 hours of 10 second clips. I understand that attention spans are short these days. I will eventually set up outlines and clip sections so you can jump to the part you like in the future.

Looking back, I see a lot of things to improve on. I plan on increasing production value, better organization, front end outlines, clickable tab points, and more. I have a new module in the works that takes our heroes from G2 - The Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl to an original location! I can’t wait to get it done and share it with everyone.

Metrics. Have a look. Click to Enlarge.

Classic_DM Metrics September 23, 2018 through May 30, 2019

(CLICK TO ENLARGE)


1st Edition Video Series Ranks #1

When I started the Classic_DM YouTube channel, the idea was to evangelize the beauty and fun of the game 40 years later. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons had a huge impact on my life, my profession, and my creativity. In the beginning, I knew I did not want to become a streamer and at the same time, not try and develop content that was video editing heavy or full of hard cuts. Instead, I decided to capture one-take live play sessions. After all, all I wanted to do was go back in time to when I was 13 years old and play the game.

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Initially, I streamed the show using my home made Battle Glass and handmade tokens on Twitch. This allowed me to capture the play sessions live while also facilitating a cloud-type storage space I could export over to YouTube with a few clicks. In December I found myself out of state with only a mega-sad satellite internet connection slower than an X-Boat (for all you Traveller players) so that had to change. I started making the videos locally and saving them out to an external hard drive, and then uploading.

Along the way, I started getting questions. Not really subscribers, but lots of questions. Questions about how time works in the game, combat, classes, my house rules, and mostly from players who play 5th edition, had never played first, but were intrigued about it. in response, I started the Learn to Play series. I shared it in some of the Facebook groups and it began to gain momentum. So let’s take a step back and see how things have evolved.

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Above we see the top five videos based on watch time. I like to use this metric to get a sense of what viewers are interested in.

58,396 minutes is close to 973 hours for just one video

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Here is the growth since I started the channel back in later September of 2018. Since moving all the content to my author and game design website and restructuring, there’s been a good amount of growth!

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It’s a modern world. View time splits between PC and Smart Phone use!

Summary

It’s fun to see some things take off. If you have any specific requests, be sure and let me know! There is still a lot to improve upon and we’re just getting started!

1st Edition Video Series!

I went back and did some clean up on the How to Player 1st edition Page and playlist on You Tube. Hopefully, this will give viewers and players a chance to get a sense of what each episode covers before they head to YouTube, saving time clicking on descriptions and such.

Also. If YOU have any topics you’d like to see let me know! I would be happy to take requests. I’ve been responding to YouTube comments as I get a chance, but if you want a cool video done just on your topic, let’s make that a challenge and dive into it!

Your First game as a DM!

You got some books, you got some friends. You're about to run your first adventure! NOW WHAT? This video is for you!

You got some books, you got some friends. You're about to run your first adventure! NOW WHAT? This video is for you! Website Start here! News, updates, details, characters, story, behind the scenes, and fun stuff for the player or DM in us all, plus all the videos in an easy visual catalog!

War, Family Honor, Kings, Assassins, Justice, and Sacrifice

What happens when you mix a video game designer with War in Renaissance Italy? Read what the Judges say...

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Iron Will Rust weaves a story of deception, intrigue, war, and revenge bearing elements of everything from The Count of Monte Cristo to The Princess Bride, and author T. Elliot Cannon has done his research regarding sixteenth-century Europe. The prose itself is quite strong, with salient, evocative metaphors throughout and solidly competent grammar.”

— Judge, 25th Annual Writer's Digest Self-Published Book Awards

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“The story has that other-worldly feel to it that I think both history buffs and fantasy readers alike could enjoy...an excellent war story with broad appeal.”

— Judge, 4th Annual Self-Published e-Book Awards

Click the cover to get  Iron Will Rust  on Amazon!

Click the cover to get Iron Will Rust on Amazon!

SYNOPSIS

January 1515 and Louis XII is dead. The newly crowned king of France, Francis I prepares to invade Italy with his eyes set on the city of Milano, but the only way there is across the Alps, a feat not attempted since Hannibal. The Venetian ambassador, Marco Diamante, promises detailed surveys that reveal every goat trail, crumbling Roman road, and jagged mountain pass in exchange for an alliance. Francis agrees. Battle plans begin and armies assemble. Marco dispatches his ruthless agent, Alessandro Dumaine to procure the maps by any means necessary.

After the murder of a local priest and an assault on his daughter, Lazzaro Dominici, a retired fencer from Genoa turned winemaker, becomes embroiled in the political intrigue surrounding the theft of the alpine maps. Facing off against contract killer Alessandro, entangles him in the French and Venetian invasion plans. What begins as a fight to save his family and bring a killer to justice becomes a personal mission affecting a war between nations.

An Obsidian Ancient Remorhaz. Good Lord.

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Flashback from last year’s Field of Frozen Bones Episode!

Our party pushes south at the bottom of the glacial rift floor, and stumble into a pack of Winter Wolves scavenging for food at a gruesome pile of frozen bones and rib cages, mixed with skulls and femurs. Just as an animal alliance forms, an Obsidian Ancient 45’ long Remorhaz returns from its hunt through a sinkhole. After a frenetic battle and severely wounded, the horrible thing retreats down below and the sinkhole collapses pulling Faoltiarna with it!


Be a Scholar

Playing D&D? Awesome. Playing 5th edition? Excellent! Worried about betraying your friends and family by checking out another edition of the same timeless classic game? Don’t be that way! Be a scholar. Every OGL game expands the depth of the hobby as do war gaming rules from Warlord and Osprey!

Don’t overlook the superb writing and production value of Pathfinder. You may not like the complexity of 3.5, but as an OGL variant, it is an incredible source of inspiration for your game!

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D&D for 2 Players

You want to play D&D but only have 1 friend around? Here's a fun way to get creative and start playing! We chat about converting existing modules, talk about balance, adjustment of HD, AC, enemies, while finding the right blend of player and class goals too.

Great source ideas from famous fantasy authors such as Robert E. Howard, Michael Moorcock, L. Sprague de Camp, and Lin Carter also get a mention! We flash some of the beautiful Paizo Pathfinder books which I love and keep on hand for my own work. To keep it super old school we even pull out 76 patrons from Traveller!


Let's Talk Spell Casting in 1st Edition

New video guide added to our 1st Edition Library.

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Let's talk spells. Spells in combat. Casting time when we compress melee rounds. V,S,M. Saving throws, memorization, all that. This is a laid back conversation about how Gygax and crew designed spell casting in 1st edition and what you and your DM can do to amplify fun in your modern gaming.


Let's talk spells. Spells in combat. Casting time when we compress melee rounds. V,S,M. Saving throws, memorization, all that. This is a laid back conversation about how Gygax and crew designed spell casting in 1st edition and what you and your DM can do to amplify fun in your modern gaming.

The Thief and the Assassin

New video guide added to our 1st Edition Library.

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We discuss the Thief and the Assassin with tips on how to play them, handle them as a DM, and a few cool tricks most folks had no idea on. Don't worry, we cover backstab!

We discuss the Thief and the Assassin with tips on how to play them, handle them as a DM, and a few cool tricks most folks had no idea on. Don't worry, we cover backstab! Website Start here!


What's Classic_DM all about? 1st Edition, Maps, and Carnage!

Be sure and share this video with your friends, especially if they are interested in getting into 1st Edition!

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An overview of the channel and what it's all about! Website Start here! News, updates, details, characters, story, behind the scenes, and fun stuff for the player or DM in us all, plus all the videos in an easy visual catalog! http://www.telliotcannon.com/ Introduction Find out about the story, characters, and the show!

Growing. Metrics and Key Learnings.

When I started the Classic_DM channel, the goal was then and it still is, to go back in time to 1978 when I was 13 and replay the classic modules of G1-G3 and D1-D3. Along the way, things have really unfolded into unique directions I never planned for, but in a fun way! This article explores some of those details.

2018 basic view metrics. At the end of the year - about 40 subscribers.

2018 basic view metrics. At the end of the year - about 40 subscribers.

By the end of the year the channel established an interesting rhythm with a variety of videos that appeal to different types of YouTube watchers.

Live play sessions of G1 - Steading of the Hill Giant Chief

Live play sessions for G2 - The Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl

Since I drew all the battle maps for each show freehand using an old school architectural style I like, I decided to stream these live on Twitch for fun too. To archive these, I created a playlist called Map Drawing.

Developed a new series called 1st Edition for New Players, designed to give a new player or 5th edition player a real straight up overview of the game, where to get the PDFs, what rules matter, class overviews, combat tutorials, etc. This caught on, so I will try and do more of these. I recently did one video as a request.

There is also a small playlist called DM’s Guide, that’s a behind the scenes look at Module and Encounter design, how I made my old school battle glass and other laid back, insider-vibe content.

Since January 1, I moved all my content off Patreon and to my author page, where you are right now. This resulting in a big bump in subscribers and visitors. Hopefully, this website helps players get a handle on where all the expanding content is! The reason for this was I found a majority of viewers were coming from FaceBook to check out the videos, but since Patreon makes you have an account to do anything, they stayed clear, most likely due to the association with money. I recently revised my Tiers to be cheaper than a space-cabbage.

So far in 2019, (as of January 14th) 5,000 minutes of watch time in less than 14 days as compared to around 15,000 minutes in 3 months in 2018.

So far in 2019, (as of January 14th) 5,000 minutes of watch time in less than 14 days as compared to around 15,000 minutes in 3 months in 2018.

Watch Time

I think we have a few things going on here. First of all, we have more subscribers and more folks are checking out the content, so that’s cool. I also think that a 4 day promotion I ran on FB helped get the word out (reached about 4,000 people and had over 130 click throughs) after I moved all the content off Patreon to my Video Game Industry website where my novel, Iron Will Rust lives. Since the 1st Edition for New Players video series is getting more attention, I plan on doing more of these, but want to make sure all the other content themes stay strong as well.

Original Module Series

Myself and some other game industry folks who grew up playing 1st Edition have collaboration plans for this year, so keep your eyes peeled here. The first thing that’s going on is I’m writing and designing an original 6 part module I plan on self-publishing early in 2019 after some local playtesting. (Will be under OSRIC of course as the new OGL is 5th edition-centric) I plan on running videos on that and am even thinking of filming some of the playtests. I already captured the deaign sessions for this, but won’t release those until the module prints.

Summary

Back to metrics. In summary, spread the word. My goal is to reach more players and generate D&D fun for all ages. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next 3 months!

If there is something you’d like to see, leave a comment. After all, I’m doing this for the kid in us all.

Make it Real - Tips for DMs and Module Designers

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How to breathe life into bland spaces in your campaign or in commercially available modules so your players have 10x more fun, things make sense, have a sense of place, purpose, and provoke players to improvise and react as if they are really there.

Ludwig Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969) a German-American architect is known often for two aphorisms, "Less is more" and "God is in the details"

For today's video, "Make it real" is the phrase to remember.

1st edition Combat Basics.

Video Request for ReeseG.

Surprise

(1d6) roll high numbers = win. Note the difference between player number and enemy and then see table for result as to whether anyone is surprised. Dungeon Master’s Guide pp 61-62

Initiative

Dungeon Master’s Guide pp 62. I use 3d6 for initiative as it creates greater variation and differences in values adding value to reaction attacking adjustment.

 Time Combat Rounds

  • 1 round is 1 minute

  • 1 segment is 1/10 of a round or 6 seconds.

  • I use 1, 6 second segment per attack round.

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Movement

12” standard human movement which is 120 feet in 1 minute or 12 feet in 1, 6 second segment.

Since I compress combat down to 1, 6 second segment is 1 round, I also round up movement distances in combat to 20 feet per segment. Think of basketball players actively defending. Legs bent, moving, strafing, shuffle stepping. This is similar to melee combat. You can fight, attack, and actively defend over the course of 6 seconds and move 20 feet. The UFC octagon is 30 feet across or a 15 foot radius as point of reference :)

Think of enemies and players engaged in melee range as groups. Reroll initiative when more enemies join the group or if players switch targets. This helps keep track of whose turn it is.

Combat Tables

Dungeon Master’s Guide pp 74-75

Note “To Hit AC 0” or THAC0 number. Then it’s simple math to adjust up and down. Example: Your THAC0 is 8, then to hit a AC 5 enemy, you only need a 3 or higher on a d20.  (8 – 5) = 3

Armor Class in 1st edition goes from -10 (godlike) to 10 (normal clothing)

  • Full Plate + Shield is AC 2.

  • Githyanki on a war expedition wears +4 Splint mail, so AC 0

  • The Demon, Orcus is AC -6

  • Eclavdra in The Hall of the Fire Giant King is AC -5

  

New Video - The Monk

The Monk is up next! Often overlooked and called weak, the Monk has the nastiest stun in 1st edition Advanved Dungeons & Dragons. From high movement rate, mobility, vertically both up and down, thief abilities, and face crunching melee, the Monk is CC + Death in the purist form.

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Direct Link to the video on YouTube Part 8 - The Monk.