I’ve been working on my own, personal campaign world for over 20 years, and this year, I’m going to put together everything I can recall, remember and find about my setting with the goal of having something that is relatively close to publishable at the end. This week, I lay the ground work and set the stage. Come, join me, and become part of the adventures of Tysis.

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As often as I play D&D – Once a week or so, you’d think I would have more to say on the topic. Strangely, it is a difficult topic for me to write about not only specifically because I don’t want to give any portion of the story away as the DM, but also because it seems to be a fairly significant amount of winging it that goes on on a week to week basis.

However, I do want to start making it a bit of a regular thing for me to put something out there about what I think about, how I go about DMing and playing characters, fun characters I’ve built, and other things that I am working on with my D&D world, even if its just a little peek into how my brain works while DMing.

Awesome Icy Hillscape by Shavans

Awesome Icy Hillscape by Shavans

Or, as it is this week, in preparation for DMing, and all the small, fun things I think about when going about creating, or retconing, worlds.

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I love DMing. Its a problem I have and I don’t really know how to fix it. Often times I have been playing in a game and thought it would be better off for everone if a character was allowed to do something that had been stifled, either due to the dictates of the game, the personality of the DM, or the temperment of the characters. Part of this is that I have a bit to much control freak in me, but part of it stems from seeing, in my mind, how much cooler things can be when the players dictate the game to the DM.

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One of the great things about D&D is that it a combined storytelling session that involves everyone around the table getting together and making a story out of paper, die rolls and imagination. However, that same awesomeness is also a great weakness. If someone can’t make it that day, sometimes the story isn’t going to move forward at all. Its a strange dichotomy.

In many stories, the characters are important and world shaking. Events can’t go on without any given character. One has the Scrolls of Infinite Knowledge, one has the Demonslaying Sword of Grondarialand, and yet another has Breathe Water (and they are exploring an underwater castle, say). If any of them were missing, the whole game breaks in half without a lot of hand waving and just because-ing. It makes the inevitable missing characters a nightmare to deal with on the spot.

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I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been DMing for a very long time, as my hobbies go. I believe that D&D may be my longest running hobby, and its been a staple of my nerd life for nearly 2/3 of my life. I can remember building and running dungeons for my reluctant family, who humored my 12 year old self as I ran them through unoriginal dungeon after dungeon. I remember, too, picking up the new editions of the books, pouring through them looking for insight into how they work, what new rules and abilities, as well as monsters, were contained within. Vicious and stalwart monsters always drew my eye as I tried to find a way to challenge and thwart my players.

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