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Yesterday evening my old group got together to continue our campaign that we last played in January 2021, if roll20 is to be trusted. Funny thing was, as we were trying to remember what we were doing so long ago, one of my friends was looking through his notes and found a list of things to do when his wife gives birth and a list of potential names for their son. The kid was born in March 2021. Talk about a blast from the past. :lol:

Speaking of blasts, we've had a classic "yeah, but that's not a diameter, that's a radius" mistake that resulted in the whole party (except the caster, of course) eating a fireball. Good thing we're all level 7 or 8, so no casualties but still. :lol:

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11 hours ago, Werthead said:

There's some good ideas there. One of my groups outsourced worldbuilding to the group back in the 1990s, so as the resident dwarf I designed the dwarven home kingdom, which was pretty cool.

Yup. When everyone at the table helps build the world, it means everyone at the table has a connection to that world. That makes for great gaming.

My group plays in a world we have jointly created, and we've played so many campaigns there, in so many different time periods, that each campaign informs the others. We'll be in some situation, looking for a solution, and someone will say, "Wait...wouldn't the dragon-king still be on the throne in this time period? Maybe we can make a deal with him to do such-and-such." 

I'll admit that my style of DMing isn't for everyone, but it works really well for me. When things are really moving, I am the least active person at the table...and that's the way I like it.

(Heh, I guess I am saying the DM who DMs best, DMs least.)

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I'm sure it works for you, and frankly that sounds pretty great, but I think it's a pretty rare group that can basically DM themselves to the extent you describe.  Given that the group I'm playing with has exactly 0 hours of D&D experience between them, I think they are fairly overwhelmed just with figuring out what is going on and how you play this game.  I'm not looking to put anything more on them at the moment. 

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20 hours ago, TrackerNeil said:

Hey, good luck!

I'm DMing a campaign right now, but I almost never plan things. Seriously. Unless I know there will be a fight, I don't bother, for two reasons:

1) I find that the more I try to control things at the table, the worse things get. In gaming as in life, when you most feel the need to clamp down is exactly when you should let go.

2) I have great players who possess a wealth of creativity and experience. So when we meet an NPC, I'll often ask a player to make up something about them. When the PCs spy out terrain, I'll ask for a skill check (say, Survival) and let whoever makes the roll tell us what is seen--the better the roll, the more control the player gets in determining the lay of the land.

When it comes to combat, sometimes I'll turn things over to a player. For example, the PCs were surveying land for a settlement, and along comes a pack of worg-riding goblins, intent on mayhem. This happened at the end of the session, so I asked, "Who wants to DM the fight next session?" One player, who had never before DMed, stepped right up, because it was a way she could be introduced to running a session without the stress of taking on an entire campaign. She did a bang-up job, BTW, and I played her character for that session. (I did a less bang-up job at running the character,  oh well.)

This won't work for everyone, admittedly--my group is terrific--but it sure takes the stress out of DMing.

Honestly, all of this sounds like great DMing to me. It requires a group that is familiar with your style, to be sure, but adds soooo much to the shared story/illusion/fantasy.

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1 hour ago, Maithanet said:

I'm sure it works for you, and frankly that sounds pretty great, but I think it's a pretty rare group that can basically DM themselves to the extent you describe.  Given that the group I'm playing with has exactly 0 hours of D&D experience between them, I think they are fairly overwhelmed just with figuring out what is going on and how you play this game.  I'm not looking to put anything more on them at the moment. 

I wouldn't DM this way for newbies, and yet...I find that, most of the time, it's not a matter of making people contribute so much as letting them do so.

I was once DMing a big swordfight in a banquet hall, and one of the players was a big fan of Robin Hood movies and such, and she immediately says, "Is there a hanging chandelier?" Naturally, I said, "Yes!", because of course! That started a whole chain of "Are there barrels of beer?" or "Can I grab a torch from the wall?" and so forth. They came up with all sort of crazy shit to throw at their enemies, making the fight way more fun for us all.

I think, for me, it was a matter of not feeling as though I was performing for the players. The DM is a player, too! By letting go of my demands for myself, I was able to make space for the players to put themselves into the game. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Oof Hasbro laid off another 1100 people this week. Makes it about 2k so far this year. MTG is losing steam and dnd isn’t the big money maker they want it and that’s not enough to prop up their dying toy market. Sucks regular people get hurt and not the corp execs.

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23 hours ago, Arakasi said:

Oof Hasbro laid off another 1100 people this week. Makes it about 2k so far this year. MTG is losing steam and dnd isn’t the big money maker they want it and that’s not enough to prop up their dying toy market. Sucks regular people get hurt and not the corp execs.

Net revenue for Q3 was only 1.5 billion. Not enough profits being made, ergo tell people who have worked their asses off for you to fuck off. I hate supporting these fucks every time i buy something from them. 

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On the plus side, the dickhead Mike Mearls was amongst those fired. He's the piece of work who gave the details of people who'd complained to WotC HR about sexual harassment to the harasser, was then stealth-transferred to the M:TG department where he's apparently done F-all for years (rumour is there was a plan to stealth-transfer him back to D&D after the heat died down, but Crawford took advantage of his absence to consolidate total control over the game). Mearls also led the "lore and background material is for losers!" charge, which at point resulted in a surreal rant in which he accused everyone of wanting consistency in worldbuilding to be massive racists, which people are still puzzled about.

The D&D department seems to have been mostly left alone apart from the art team, which was gutted. This has led to fears that the next D&D avalanche of bullshittery will be over using AI artwork.

Edited by Werthead
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  • 2 weeks later...

Putting it on a globe is nice. Tech is fun. 

I've always been fascinated by maps, real or imagined. I remember watching a youtuber describe how to create your own world with realistic climate and currents and biomes - lots of info I never planned to use, but was eating it all up anyway.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Almost finished with the Call of the Netherdeep.  It's crazy, but I'm proud of my guess as they resolved all but one of the things they needed to.  Just had a massive battle that lasted 3 hours in real time.

Spoiler

They figured out pretty quickly that this was all some kind of therapy needed for Alexyian 

A few more weeks and it will be time for something else.  The guys really want to take their characters to level 20, so I've figured out how to adapt Dungeon of the Mad Mage.  Netherdeep forced the characters to join one of the factions, Colbot Sol for my group, so they are going to go on a mission for them, to relieve a group that has already mapped out the first 13 levels of this huge system of dungeons found.  

We will probably be close to the year mark by time we finish.  Not too bad really.  I just hope I can convince someone else to take over as DM for the next set.

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8 hours ago, Ser Lany said:

I just hope I can convince someone else to take over as DM for the next set.

Always the most interesting moment for any ttrpg group, does someone else want to step up?

Probably second in precariousness only to the moment when the probably-locked-in-by-this-point DM says, "Okay, I want to run an RPG that's not Dungeons & Dragons next."

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1 hour ago, Werthead said:

Probably second in precariousness only to the moment when the probably-locked-in-by-this-point DM says, "Okay, I want to run an RPG that's not Dungeons & Dragons next."

That's what my DM just did! We're about to move over to Spelljammer!

Edited by IlyaP
Typo
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20 hours ago, Ser Lany said:

We will probably be close to the year mark by time we finish.  Not too bad really.  I just hope I can convince someone else to take over as DM for the next set.

Usually, I would take over from our default DM for a couple of sessions, and then he'd want to DM again all of a sudden.

I don't care if that's his take on my DM-ing abilities, I prefer playing to DM-ing. :lol:

11 hours ago, Werthead said:

Probably second in precariousness only to the moment when the probably-locked-in-by-this-point DM says, "Okay, I want to run an RPG that's not Dungeons & Dragons next."

I've started trying to manoeuvre our DM into trying The One Ring, a LotR RPG from Free League Publishing I backed on Kickstarter ages ago and haven't yet gotten the group to play with.

Considering the initial backlash when I suggested we tried out 5e instead of 3e, I might try to push the D&D 5e adaptation of The One Ring, though.

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15 hours ago, IlyaP said:

That's what my DM just did! We're about to move over to Spelljammer!

That's still D&D. Granted, it's D&D in Space, but it's still a D&D campaign setting using D&D rules.

6 hours ago, baxus said:

Considering the initial backlash when I suggested we tried out 5e instead of 3e, I might try to push the D&D 5e adaptation of The One Ring, though.

I'd advise ripping the band aid off and go with the Free League rules (which are pretty decent).

Reticence to play something that's not 5E is genuinely bizarre. Especially if it's for a short breakaway game on the understanding that you'll go back to 5E down the road.

It's like a movie club only watching Marvel films and throwing a strop when you suggest watching something else (even if it's still something action-comedy adjacent). Or having a book club that only reads Brandon Sanderson novels. There's nothing wrong with Marvel or Brandon Sanderson, but only consuming those forms of media will get deeply tedious after a while.

Especially as I found my DMing skills improved immensely after running other games.

Edited by Werthead
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36 minutes ago, Werthead said:

 

It's like a movie club only watching Marvel films and throwing a strop when you suggest watching something else (even if it's still something action-comedy adjacent). Or having a book club that only reads Brandon Sanderson novels. There's nothing wrong with Marvel or Brandon Sanderson, but only consuming those forms of media will get deeply tedious after a while.

 

I don't think that's entirely fair; I think a lot of reluctance is not in terms of the style of play but in having to learn the rules. I grew up where we'd play different types of systems all the friggin time, but we were pretty hardcore geeks who were into debating the intricacies of rules systems and knowing how to do various min/maxxing and whatnot. That isn't the case for a lot of the people that play now and love playing, and they remember full well the barrier to entry and difficulty of learning all the different things they can do. 

For me (running a game for my family) I'll say Baldur's Gate 3 has been amazingly helpful because it's gotten the two people who aren't into rules into knowing all sorts of things about D&D without having to have them read everything. They know about actions and bonus actions and opportunity attacks and feats and spell levels and all sorts of weird intricacies about characters that would have been much harder to teach them via book reading.

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