There's new construction under way, and I'm enjoying myself immensely.
I haven't DM'd in a little while, and some recent events have opened the door for me to run some games. First, the DM for our regular Sunday night Fantasy Grounds game had injured himself and required a long rest & recoup, so I heeded the call and started prepping. We recently moved from Castles & Crusades to 5e in order to help recruit some new folks to the virtual table. The other game I'm prepping is also for Fantasy Grounds (FG), but in a complete 180 degree shift, it's for AD&D 1e, a ruleset just recently developed.
I've been a user of the Fantasy Grounds Virtual Tabletop platform since 2008, when technology finally rose to the point where playing a game via the internet became plausible with the advent of the VTT software and VoiP services like skype and hangouts. I enjoy the flexibility of playing in this way, though in no way does it replace the more personal and intimate experience of playing live and in person around the table. The dice are not as fun to roll, and the books are all digital...there are elements of roleplaying that siimply cannot be reproduced via the internet.
What I HAVE managed to do via the internet and VTT's is schedule games that I can regularly attend, engage with people who also desire to play but cannot get to a group at all or as much as they would like to, and I've even managed to make some long and lasting friendships. Adulting is busy work, and it doesn't allow for the sort of freedom and flexibility I had as a young person engaging in my hobby. Many weekends were lost to the table, and I wouldn't trade that time for anything, but now the choices are harder, and VTT's fill the void nicely.
With the new AD&D1e ruleset, which is neatly built on top of the familiar (to me) Castles & Crusades ruleset, it's like coming home. The look & feel of the ruleset is very Old School and the coder of the ruleset will be joining in as a player so that should be a good time. Fresh out of it's 'wrapping' it has a few bugs, but the ruleset creator has been quick to make adjustments. It's getting alot of positive attention and I think it will be well supported.
Mostly, I'm enjoying the creative process of worldbuilding. I plan on doing a few near-future blog posts on my process that are a bit more specific, but I've learned over many, many years of creating playvironments (I just made this word up...maybe it will catch on) that it's good to start with a small place, a few encounters, and a couple of interesting NPC's and let the game world build itself organically through play. At its simplest, I drop a rock I made into a pond I stumbled upon, and the ripples will become the gameworld.
I'm a big fan of Fantasy Grounds. It has managed to keep me in the hobby, which certainly would not have been the case if playing live and in person was my only option. I know that many folks don't like gaming this way, or prefer the freemium model of Roll20, but FG seems to me to be the best VTT currently available. Is it expensive? Not really, if you are interested in playing rulesets that aren't 5e. Not gonna lie, buying all of the add-ons to make 5e work well (and give you and your players access to all the bits n pieces of the PHB, DMG, and MM) can run upwards of $100+. It's not cheap to be one of the Cool Kids, never is. Thankfully that's not my main mode, so over the last 8 years my financial investment in the product has been negligible.
There are many Fantasy Grounds actual play videos as well as video reviews and tutorials on youtube so head over and take a look if you're interested in what VTT gaming with FG has to offer, and stop by the forum on their website to see how involved and passionate the user base can be.