Thursday, February 2, 2012

In Control – My First Experience as a Dungeon Master

Recently I’ve started playing Dungeons and Dragons again and I’ve decided to honor this event by recording my experiences and stories here.  I know that this blog is meant to capture the perspective of a game watcher, but I think it’s fair to include many types of gaming experiences for the sake of variety and freshness.  I’m not going to go and make a blog for every type of activity I do or else I’d have at least 37 blogs half of which are about My Little Pony (I’m a girl, don’t judge me). 
Khala - A Shadar-Kai with a quest and a plan

I have played Dungeons and Dragons before as an eladrin rogue named Arianna.  The game lasted for about four months.  That game had one consistent DM (Dungeon Master), but I always yearned to take a crack at telling a story.  This new game finally gave me my chance as we switch DM’s often because of busy schedules. 

I’ve seen a good D&D game before.  I’ve seen amazing storylines with deep investments for the characters.  I wanted my game to contain something engaging where the players actually had to make tough decisions.  For my first time Dm-ing I think I was pretty successfully. 

My game centered on that a strange Shadar-kai named Khala asked the players to retrieve her ruby from an eladrin named Greyson.  Upon returning her possession to her the players would be handsomely rewarded.  Pretty standard adventure, right?  Well I can’t resist adding a twist!  I’m not going to give too much away, but let’s just say that the players were after a lot more than they realized.

The most important thing for me was providing my characters with choice.  I wanted my players to be invested in the story and I felt that giving them choices would help them feel connected to the story.  It wasn’t just the outcome that was given to them it was there decision.  Of course I could only provide them with three possible outcomes, but I feel that was better than just placing them on a straight line and telling them to follow. 
It is wonderful to look at your players and see that they really are thinking about the decisions you are offering them and how to go about things.  Sure, I’m playing with all guys so you get interrupted by bodily function jokes and comment about whether or not they’d “bone” the female characters you’ve introduced, but that just comes with the territory.  Anything beats being in a room full of 6 men all smoking multiple cigarettes, cigars, and pipes through out the game (as I dealt with in my last group). 

Anyways, being a woman in a dominantly man’s world is another rant for another day.   It’s great when you can see a group or people just looking to have fun really invest in your story. I know that I didn’t have specific stories to offer this time around, but I hope you enjoyed hearing what I’m up to. I’m looking forward to Dm-ing more games and collecting stories to tell you.  This certainly won’t be my last thought on the matter.