In Episode 7, we finally close the last chapter of Book 1. The first in a trilogy in my current campaign.
What started out as a mundane, normal, D&D fantasy adventure is turning out to be an epic. Of course, most of my players are first-timers in tabletop. I had fun trying to hone them out of their “video-game” attitudes and tried (hard) to let them do anything they want in the game and in the story.
After all, the main distinction of playing in a table-top game vs board games or MMORPGs is the fact that there is NO LINEAR way nor a “right” or a “wrong” way to do it. The sky’s the limit. Your actions are limited only by your imagination (and oftentimes, the dice – which is why we bought a Pound).
This is the third group to play my Winter’s Twilight campaign, an original creation which started way back in 2003. Different groups and different players take to the campaign (and the story) with their own quirks and their own styles of play. I enjoyed each group and I had fun DMing for them.
This new campaign is especially dear to me. With new rules and also “technology” to help a DM in every facet of the campaign. Back in old days, there was NO Internet, nor Google, nor even Obsidian Portal or online SRDs (Systems Reference Document) to help you. It was really leafing through voluminous books, magazines and modules. If you didn’t have the info, you either borrow a book from a friend or create one right there and then. I like creating my own stuff which I, of course, am “inspired by” the movies, comics, and books that I’ve read.
Now, the PC and the Internet make gaming more fun! Also, having more income (compared to 2003) meant that we can buy figures and accessories to aid in gaming. Back then, all was just a dream for me. I would drool at the sight of lots of dice, or minis advertised on Dragon Magazine or old black-and-white catalogs. Now, I can really enjoy my hobby – especially more so with my new, close friends – which money cannot buy 🙂
As a Dungeon Master, I am often asked, “do you have more fun in the creative process or in actually running the game?” I say “both”. Alone, in the wee hours of the night, in front of my PC or with just my notebook (the trad paper one) and a pen, I enjoy the minutes where I jot down ideas, design NPCs and setup encounters. I equally enjoy running them and seeing the reactions of my players in the actual game. Preparing for, and running a D&D game is indeed hard work. It takes a couple of days to prep for an evening’s session. All the hard work disappears when my players actually tell me they had fun at another awesome session!
In the coming books (sessions and episodes), my wish is for the individual players to role-play a lot (more) and actually “chat” with the NPCs rather than describing or summarizing what they’ll do. Tabletop is, in more ways than one, “controlled theater”, and telling stories while playing roles has always been an entertaining pastime even before my friend E. Gary Gygax brought gaming to all of us. Be carried away by your character! Live in the moment! Don’t bother too much with calculating success probabilities or the rules. Role play. And do it with gusto. I promise you, it will a more enjoyable night for you and for everyone.
I’d also like to see the day that others take up the mantle of Game Mastering (so yeah, I can play too). I would more than love to teach and mentor anyone willing to try it. Don’t be discouraged with all the thick books and the rules, rules, rules. As you can see, DMing is simply about logic. Once you get the “basics”, it’s all about really moving things along with the story as the central core. A successful game or campaign is measured in the stories that are shared long after the game sessions, not with how you made up a table cross-referenced with percentile matrices to determine random encounters.
In the next book, your characters will be more powerful and your adversaries will be more cunning. Not everything can be dealt with combat – that’s my tip!
Meanwhile, I’d like to thank all my players:
- Nil – for helping me explain the rules to the others and helping with the mundane tasks of managing PCs and leveling characters. For always taking into consideration Findar’s motivations for adventuring.
- Chase – Thanks for even daring to call my campaign a “combat-centric” one. *wink* I am always open to constructive criticism. I hope by now, you’ll find Winter’s Twilight is not all about combat, my friend. Thanks for always being there during games and trying your best to attend. Thanks too for donating some of your Mage Knight figures which formed the core of our minis today.
- Keith – for trying to help Nil “control” the party and be the “conscience” of the group. By now, your experience would have taught you that everything is not what it seems. I hope you enjoyed the development of Daemon Frost so far.
- Alex – always creative and finding awesome ways to solve problems and situations. Stuff that every tabletop gamer should have. SkyClad is fun dude. I love your concept. Thanks for being the party “scribe” and record keeper, dude!
- Meng – Thanks for always trying to attend games even if you’re busy with a million things. I’m sure that you love what Clytie’s going through right now. Stay there and your in-game dad will have a lot of surprises up his demonic sleeve.
- Jan Rey – even if you attended only a couple of games, thanks still for being there. I know Hazel is more important than a d20 or a d8. So don’t tell me I don’t understand. Lols.
- Phil – Your “one-shot” game was an experience I won’t forget. We finally gamed together, my friend. I sure hope it won’t be the last.
Here’s a toast to Book 2!
Strength and Honor,