So I mentioned in an earlier post that I had recently decided to take up the mantle of Dungeon Master. If I had to give you a reason as to why, I could give you several.
* My desire to create a story that other people can interact with…
* My absolute love for D&D that compels me to want to share it with people…
* my need to create that has filtered into my gaming and geeky sensibilities (seriously, that’s another post altogether)
* we can go with the Michael Jordan explanation and say that it all stems from my pure love for the game and my affection towards the bonds it forges with the people who share the experience together. It’s something I didn’t get from W.O.W. or any other video game. For me, it stems from my very first real table top experience.
I blame my father.
Not someone who was really into D&D (that I knew of, anyway), but he bought and played my first real tabletop game with me. It was a game called Battlemasters. It was more Warhammer Fantasy Adventure than D&D but we brought our own element of role-play into it. We would spread that insanely huge battle grid in the middle of the living room or my bedroom and attempt to out think each other while rolling multiple d6′s at each other into the wee hours. This is the man that taught me checkers and chess and would stress playing to strict Hoyle regulation rules with me. This game, for me, was chess with dice and a game piece that was a frelling CANNON!
A few years later, my dad bought Hero Quest home and said “Hey, this looks like a lot of fun.”
My friends, my fate was sealed. My dad was the DM, my cousin and I were the PC’s and there were dungeons crawled, dragons slain, and treasure looted. My Childhood. When it was awesome, it was seriously awesome!
Recently, I went back home to New Orleans and shared my love for D&D with my parents. I knew that my dad would be into it, given our history with RPGs, but that my mom seemed just as, if not more, interested was pretty much faint worthy.
Anyway, my love for role-playing stems from my experiences playing games with my dad (and often my mom) as a kid. It’s something I always dreamed of doing with my kids when I was old enough to have them, and it’s played a huge role in why I became a DM. If there is anyone who is going to turn my little girl over to the Geek side of the force…Gorramit, it’s gonna be me. (I Hope).
In any case, for those reasons and several others, I decided to DM for some friends of mine that were as into the aspect of roleplay as I am. Three of them, I met at a weekly Dungeons and Dragons Encounters session that I attend here in Tacoma. To my knowledge (and I could be very wrong here) they haven’t really gotten into the meat of what role-play can really be, and I really hope to show them that. It’s also pretty cool that the three of them all seem to be best friends already, so this will create an interesting dynamic to the story I hope to help them weave. They’re a bit younger than I am, somewhere in the area of 21 to 23 years old, so that will bring a level of fresh imagination and energy to the game.
The other two players have been lifelong friends, one of whom is married to one of my wife’s best friends and is a dear friend of mine. The other is a damned good guy and awesome friend as well. The pair of them have a ton of experience with roleplaying and are, coincidentally, both actors. I’m looking forward to seeing what they bring to the party and the experience as a whole.
So one of the things I’m excited about in this process is that, instead of the standard miniatures used for D&D, I’m using lego mini-figures. The reason I decided on this is…well, there are several reasons:
1. (and this is most important) It’s funny!! There is absolutely no way that people will be able to take the game to the extent of seriousness that it is no longer fun. C’mon!! It’s Legos!!
2. They are easy to pose and equip. You don’t have to stick to the standard D&D minis that you can order from a ton of websites or buy from gaming shops or conventions. There are so many fantasy themed lego figures that it is pretty easy to create an encounter or campaign with them.
3. It would be all too easy to get kids into tabletop RPG’ing. You’re playing a game with your friends and your little one comes around and goes “hey, legos! what are you grown-ups doing with legos?” You see where that can go, right? Right?? Nuff’ said!!
4. Depending on where you get your mini’s, lego figures can be dirt-frelling-cheap! Ebay is my new friend! Seriously! I have been finding some quality lego figures there for a crazy low amount of money. Now…you do have to hunt a bit, but once you find a good group of sellers, stick with them!! They have good, quality mini-figs.
Another thing I’m excited about is the campaign setting itself. It takes place in the world of Eberron;
for me this is a magical version of steampunk, or what I like to call magepunk. So, high magic is at the center of everything; trade and commerce, industry, and technology – under the backdrop of this very film-noir post hundred-year-war atmosphere. With the D&D version of fantasy involved it makes for a plethora of incredible story opportunities and character development hooks that could be (at some point) very interesting and great to use in a story setting. There are still some very medieval elements to the setting, and it’s fairly easy to convert standard D&D campaigns to meet the Eberron world.
Personally, at least for now, I’m planning to stick to the pre-designed campaigns.
Which brings me to the one hurdle I found:
So I’m running this game in 4th Edition (I know, I know, 3.5 is incredible, amazing, and all of the other arguments that have been thrown out there – as much as I loved 3.5, I also love the more streamlined 4th Edition. But, again, that’s another post entirely) , the problem there is that it’s been an insane crazytrain experience to hunt for any of the campaigns for Eberron in 4th edition.
Probably because they don’t actually exist there.
I scoured forums and gaming sites until I thought my eyes would bleed. Nada.
So I undertook the task of locating all of the 3.5 campaign modules for the world and converting them to 4th edition.
cacophonous cries of “blasphemy” here while I stick my tongue out at you>
On top of this I’m starting all of my players off at lvl5, this means that I am converting all of the lvl1-5 quests to lvl5-10 accounting for creature/monster/baddies as well as skill challenges and experience points. (XP for those of you in the know) On top of that, one of my players wanted to roll a character class infamously known as the Gunmage. So (because I like to think that I’m the kind of DM that says “Why the hell not? That could be fun!” I also built (with help from various sources) a Gunmage class that has already impressed many of my other gamer friends and should be really fun to play with.
So my time has been consumed with math and story elements and the like and I’m honestly having a great time at it. This Friday will be the first time my group will meet to discuss their collective group origin story and personal back stories as well as address any character creation issues and questions. it will be the first time that the player rolling the Gunmage will see the two builds I’ve prepared for him and I’m looking forward to seeing how that goes.
There will also be copious amounts of Munchkin played, which is always a wonderful thing, as far as I’m concerned.
So there it is. I’m hoping to get started running the campaign in about three weeks. By then, I’ll have the last of my mini-figures in hand and so will my players. I hope you all join me as I begin running them through The Forgotten Forge and hopefully they, and you, of course, enjoy it.
May the Dice roll ever in your favor…
(yeah, I just did that)
- It’s been a long time-shouldn’t have left you-without a dope Geek to Step to… (geekrootofme.com)
- Steve Townshend on Dungeons and Dragons Improvisation (slyflourish.com)
- SDCC 2012: Check Out This Fresh Batch Of ‘LEGO Lord of the Rings’ Screens (multiplayerblog.mtv.com)
- The D and D Diaries: Wizards of the Coast Employees Share Their Thoughts on the Iconic RPG – Part II (geek-news.mtv.com)