Saturday, 11 February 2017

The Glory of D&D

Welcome, to a somewhat rambling yet glorious honouring post dedicated to one of the most iconic tabletop games of all time. 

Dungeons and Dragons.

Over the last few years it has regained an incredibly popular following like much of the tabletop scene. Geek and Sundry has helped with its Critical Role series, a weekly show starring voice actors playing Dungeons and Dragons and putting on an entertaining 3-4 hour session. Stranger Things has also placed the game in the public eye after capturing the imaginations of millions on Netflix. Celebrities like Vin Diesel, the late Robin Williams and Kevin Smith also among those being fans.

Its popularity is also strong at our club, the Gwent Reavers. We've gained new members through it, after myself, Gav and Bam started the Mines of Phandelver around a year and a half ago. Its always been something I've personally been interested in, just didn't realise others were too. So we got together and now we have three different sessions run by three different Dungeon Masters going on currently. And thats with a variety of different players too. Some have come to the dark side of tabletop gaming, be it miniature games or board games, some are dedicated to the D20 and the roleplaying aspect. 

So what about Dungeons and Dragons is so captivating? The depth of narrative and background are certainly an aspect that draws people in. There is such a wealth of information out there, be it tips to playing, background to set your adventures in and even guides as to how to create your own world. 

This leads on to being able to create. Like open world videogames you have a lot more ability to do what you want, even more so in tabletop roleplay as it really is just your own imagination that limits you. Not only do your stories get told, but those of the players who create characters that are a huge part of the stories being told. In fact, when dm'ing my own campaign I try to let the players tell the story while guiding them through certain events. You can plan how a certain event will play out, for example how a battle will go with a great beast but the players will always come up with ways that surprise you as a DM and have those events change. Its incredibly fascinating to see how your friends will solve different problems and ace different creatures in battle. 

One other side of D&D that is probably its strongest appeal, is the social side of it. Getting together with your mates to act out these crazy adventures is something you will absolutely love. Running jokes, how you remember certain events and recall those moments is something you have to experience. From deceiving a huge amount of cultists into following us to get out of a Dragon Cult camp, to new interesting ways to pull a kobolds body apart like a christmas cracker its been an absolute joy to partake in the game. 

Being a sufferer of insomnia, creating and adapting stories and guiding players through them has been fantastic. Character development is interesting to watch and hopefully as we play through sessions each player will see their characters grow, and not just through stat building and gaining new skills and feats. Having the characters personalities develop in front of you is incredibly rewarding as a dungeon master. 

Even though many times things you write about and plan for a session may not always happen, its still rewarding to be able to come up with these ideas, even if they never come to light. I've written backgrounds for npc's that the players have hardly talked too, but its helped me to put myself into their shoes better and react and talk more as I feel they should, and hopefully that comes across to the players immersing them even more.

In the future I may share certain ideas about the stories I've created on this blog, things that happen during sessions with other DM's (possibly even their own accounts if I can bribe them with rations and gold) and even ideas for you to use in your adventures.

Dungeons and Dragons, and many other tabletop RPG's are a hugely enjoyable and engrossing thing to do with your mates, whether you play or run the session. Go and try your hand, and have some of the best fun you'll have while rolling dice with your friends.

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