The heart of D&D is creation. You create your characters, you create the world, and you create your own fun. The more you choose to create, often, the more fun you have. This is why I have to give a big thumbs up to Seventh Crown by Brian Steele. He not only created a campaign setting for him and his friends, but is now trying to get it kickstarted into a multi-platform campaign setting that we can all use. To me that is awesome, it’s thinkers like him that gave us Eberon, the Forgotten Realms, Pathfinder and even D&D itself if you go far back enough!
What Brian has done is to create an entire world and mythos, like DNDUI. Unlike DNDUI, Brian’s coherently (read: soberly) written history and world leap off of the page and scream to be investigated. After I saw only the cover art for the Seventh Crown I knew it was something I wanted to explore more. Six crowns of power that imbue the power to lead a kingdom and a mythical seventh that could rule over them all. A setting rife with adventure. The campaign is a nice combination of high fantasy with some grittier elements thrown in. And my favourite part is that it feels like I want to play this setting from each kingdoms perspective, giving me a completely different feeling if I was an evil elf, a mercenary dragon-kin or a dwarf from a shrivelled kingdom dreaming of my former glory.
If this sounds interesting to you, you can not only help kickstart them, and get this book to you, but you can also help contribute to their story and help build what I’m looking forward to as a compelling and beautiful world. It’s just a shame, or maybe a saving grace, there is no Uthgar in there.
In the few short, but action packed, years that I have been DMing I have come across an eternal problem that I struggle with, and I am beginning to get the notion that It is a problem that every GM deals with in some sort of way.
This problem has to do with the difference between marco and micro elements of the story line. Currently the Charos (my party) are in the middle of some pretty spicey expose that is revealing large swathes of the world that they are in, and all I can think is “Are they bored of this? Do they just want to dungeon crawl where I/they can focus on traps and the minuteness of the game, or are they enjoying this? I know that the second I bring the party down to the other level, I will begin to think the opposite. “Is this too fine grit? Are they bored of the slog of the crawl?”
It is true that in a perfect world a story will be created and the GM can just make a story and then focus on the details of each session as the party progresses in the story, but it will never happen like that. Writing a campaign is not like writing a movie or a book, its a constantly evolving creature or improv where you, as a creator, have to bounce back and forth between thoughts of inter-kingdom politico games happening without the party’s privy, to what kind of club that kobold is brandishing.
It is this element that I find the most rewarding, yet incredibly taxing, like spinning plates.
This problem is always compacted by the fact that in the game I am running I allow a lot of choice by the players, and they know it. This makes for a GREAT game where the players truly experience the fun of DND, knowing that they can build and dash kingdoms or story lines at their pleasure, but it also means that I can never really plan more than a session or two ahead of time, and Never in as much detail and I truly would like. I see all these other DMs with pre-built castles and lazer pointer table props for light puzzles and it makes me feel a bit deflated.
I am not really sure what the point of this post was, other than to remind you the struggles that a GM puts up with. When you leave your charachter at the table, you’re done if you want, however the GM’s work is just starting, they have to prep for next week! So, If you are enjoying your game, show your appreciation. bring the GM a bag of cheetos for them, or tell them you lie their sotory, or even better yet, don’t kill that noble with the complex backstory they have just introduced, haha.
Things have been a little quiet around here, but it doesn’t mean we’re fading. In fact, it’s the calm before the storm. We have been reaching out to people we like in hopes to work together on cool projects. So I thought I would take this opportunity to shout out the people we like most. You!
During our mailbag episode we were asked if DnDUI surpassed our expectations. Resoundingly yes! We have received so much love and support it is inspiring. When people I match with on Tinder already know DnDUI before my gushing about it, it makes me feel like we are doing something right by the community.
Dawww, you guys.
When we set out to learn how to play D&D two years ago, we turned to the internet (see subheading Reddit & Podcasts) as we do with most crucial knowledge. When 5th Edition arrived we wanted to give back and be the resource for people starting up and looking for help like we did!
We always want to hear our visitors thoughts, suggestions, and ideas. Whether you come here for entertainment, learning, or you have a burning crush on Raff, we want to say we appreciate it and want to know how we can do more for you.