Oct 15, 2023


No books this week! I’ve spent all my free time playing Baldur’s Gate 3.

Roleplaying Games

The Halls of Arden Vul

One of the more action-packed sessions, where things could have easily gone very badly if one party member hadn’t just happened to have a Potion of Undead Control (Ghouls) which let them escape a very hairy situation with only two deaths.

But then the players ended up barricading themselves in a small room while angry baboons batter the door down. Drums, drums in the deep, they cannot get out… Quite a cliffhanger ending!

I’ve really enjoyed the last couple of sessions. They’ve really demonstrated what I like about Arden Vul, which is that the cool stuff isn’t gated behind being deep in the dungeon like in some modules. It’s all over the place.

For example, one of the first things the players found was an obelisk with a sun motif and a weird inscription—“The Beacon shall be revealed to those who bring midday life to the Sun, the Moon and the Stars”—and a deeply-incised ankh as if a physical ankh could be plugged into it.

It’s right at the entrance to the Arden Vul, it’s impossible to miss.

But nothing came of it. Until 16 sessions later when the players found an ankh in a wizard’s lab which fit into the obelisk. They tried inserting it at noon, but nothing happened. “Oh well,” they thought, “let’s get back to adventuring.” They then found, in the walled grounds of a ruined palace, a second obelisk. Same inscription, same ankh-shaped slot, but this one had a moon theme. All of a sudden the players are poring over their map trying to work out where a third obelisk, with a star motif, could possibly be, and talking about how they might be able to put the word out to pawn shops that they’re looking for these ankhs in case anyone comes in with one to sell.

It’s good dungeon design, but also good playing on the group’s part. They’re thinking exactly how they should be, and I reward that; I don’t give them things for free, but if a plan they come up with sounds reasonable I’ll just allow it more often than not. Imagine how dull it would have been if they started talking about the possibility of a third obelisk and I said “that’s a good idea, make an intelligence check to see if your character could think of it.” Ew.

I’m really looking forward to when they start to uncover some of the big secrets, and suddenly things they thought to be unrelated start to come together.

There is a story behind Arden Vul, if they can find it.


I spent a little time playing around with mdBook, rustdoc, and GitHub Pages (I know, I know, I’m late to the party) to set up a little documentation site for resolved.

I’m quite pleased with the result: resolved.docs.barrucadu.co.uk

I like how I can build and deploy it through GitHub Actions. When I last gave GitHub Pages a try the state of the art was having your CI tool push to a special branch, which always felt like it was misusing git.

The next step will be to review and improve the crate documentation, which is clearly very lacking now that I’m actually able to see it.

I’ve started on a similar site for my NixOS configuration, to document my custom modules and options, which should hopefully be done some time next week. I’m thinking of moving the dejafu docs over, as well.