Games in Progress
While lockdown was at its peak for COVID, I was able to get 2 GBA SP's. My very first game console was a pink GBA SP my parents bought for me when visiting family in the Philippines. I've since lost it, alongside most of the games I had at the time. I just recently started rebuilding my GBA collection. I fondly remember having a Totodile in Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team named Marla. (RIP Marla I am sorry for losing you and my whole ass gba in a Commissary Department store, girl I miss you). I started a new playthrough of the game with Lemon the Mudkip and her partner Pepper the Cyndaquil.
What is Petaldive?
Petaldive is a homebrew Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition corporate office horror and slice of life campaign following the party's first internship.
Want to Learn More?
Details about Petaldive's lore, characters, and more can be found here
Getting It Together
A few of my friends were interested in playing DnD, so they asked me to run a campaign for them. I just couldn't be bothered to run a premade module as I was too lazy to read or so closely follow the DM's guide related to the adventure. I tried to plan out my own campaign by roadmapping (more like guessing tbh) the objectives the party would hit throughout the campaign and the worldbuilding elements related to that. That turned out to be a lot of work I didn't want to do though god bless. This was eventually scrapped but the party still affectionately refers to the sessions related to this planning phase as Session 0. (RIP Knobber, the person playing her decided to go with a different character for the current campaign; she was a wonderful soccer mother i think). The campaign plot has changed since Session 0 but we've found a way to still include some aspects of it in the current Petaldive.
The running theme here so far is that I don't want to read a lot and I'm bad at planning. So I DM'd anyway without doing that. I decided that I would run Petaldive with little to no planning as possible. Dungeon masters have to make things up all the time when adventures go awry. I thought that doing that all the time would help me be better at improvising. When it came to dungeon maps and encounters, I used online generators and balanced it according to the context (im getting better at it i swear). DnD is supposed to be having fun in the end, so I play it in a way that lets me do that. My friends are people with either some or no experience with DnD at all. So despite my hamfisted Rube Goldberg bastardization of the rulebook, I try to still encourage everyone (including myself) to learn about the rules as we play.
Um, So Where Are We?
The setting for Petaldive really solidified after I played Yuppie Psycho and introduced it to my friends. We first started with the concept of what modern DnD5e characters would use as weapons in an office space; scissors, staplers, paperclips, papershredders, hole punchers, bluetooth phones, etc. The concept of a horror campaign was also appealling. All the players are pursuing college in some way irl, so I thought what would be scarier than your character's first internship ever (it was for the dental). The party needed their driving narrative force and mission control to report back to. A huge company offloading all their busy work to new interns fit that setting. I personally have not had much experience playing DnD versus being a dungeon master, so the two largest references I could pull from to set the dynamic and flow of the campaign were the podcasts The Adventure Zone: Balance and Dungeons and Daddies (the latter I am still listening to). A honorable mention goes out to the dozens of villainess/reincarnation/transmigration/game system/novel/time travel manhua and manhwa I have read but that's a lot to go through to explain. There's also the Zero Escape games and AI The Somnium Files but that's just to make jokes about shifting or alternate timelines (ie. Maybe in another universe, I didn't step on that snail so I rolled a nat 20 right after).