Wednesday, September 10, 2014

DM Intro

In determining where to start this post, I came to a realization. The portion of my life for which I've been playing D&D (of some form) is now longer than the portion in which I did not. Huh.

In middle school, I remember going to a friend's house, and his dad showed us how to play Hero Quest. Shortly thereafter, I discovered D&D, and was instantly hooked by the ability to take part in a story like the ones I read in fantasy novels and saw in movies and TV. Through high school, it was likely that weekends were spent creating characters or sending them off on adventures big and small.

One of the first programs I wrote (in QBASIC, no less) was designed to roll stats for D&D characters. Further flexing my geek-ness, my final for my Computer Science class my junior year was a dice roller with basic ASCII graphics. Yup. I was that guy.

Sometime during high school, the DM of our regular group graduated, and asked me to give it a shot. I was a bit terrified - DM-ing r srs bzns - but decided to give it a shot, and found that I liked it nearly as much as I liked playing. Many an orc of my creation was slain, his body looted and XP harvested, over the following years, and I slowly came to discover that truth that most DMs learn at some point along their journey: the chance that a DM's plans will come to fruition exactly as imagined reaches zero as soon as you introduce players to the mix. At first, I was frustrated by it, but then I realized that my role wasn't to tell my story, it was to portray and control the karmic forces that allowed my players to tell their story.

Then I discovered a game called Exalted, and fell in love with the cinematic storytelling that is encouraged - nigh on required - by its system. Gradually, I stopped being as interested in D&D, instead preferring the combination of over-the-top anime-inspired action and dark, gritty reality that I saw in Exalted.

Now, with the 5th Edition of D&D released, I've found myself once again inspired to start crafting stories in the high-fantasy settings I so fondly recall from my younger years, both as a player and as a DM. I'm looking forward to translating the elements I love from Exalted (and some other games I've played over the years) to the granddaddy of 'em all, and hopefully creating something that brings some new players into the fold.

So that's me. Insurance won't cover a pre-existing case of D&D, so I guess I'm stuck with it. Let the crit dice roll!

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