Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Crit or Get out of the Chair

Now that I've made my interest in fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons known, I'm considering running a game. This may seem like a no-brainer, but honestly I have some anxiety around running D&D. To be completely honest, I've had very little luck with the game since my teen years.

In the late '90s, I ran second edition just a couple times—a "default D&D" game and a Ravenloft game. Neither moved into campaign play, and the Ravenloft game was a complete failure. The only saving grace of those sessions was that my wife had fun and I introduced my sister-in-law to gaming too.

When third edition came out, I liked what I read and attempted to run The Sunless Citadel. I never finished the module, handing over the DMing reigns to another player. I did get to play a full campaign in third edition, though, at least to 12th level. And I did run some X-Crawl which, while not purely D&D, went well and gave me a chance to flex my dungeon design muscles.

When fourth edition hit the shelves, I was really excited about the possibilities in the system. I attempted to run Keep on the Shadowfell, and for various it just didn't go well. Before long, I realized that fourth edition just didn't feel like D&D to me, and it stood as the last time I got involved with the game.

So here we are with the fifth edition of the best-known roleplaying game in the world, and frankly, I have no idea how to run it.

I certainly have a desire to run the game. Actually I've been itching to get D&D right for years. I think it's part of the reason I've had a tough time keeping other campaigns going—I get the fantasy itch and can't find a way to scratch it. Pathfinder is too complex for my tastes these days, and no other  game system has the feel I recall. I toyed with some retro-clones, but it felt weird "going backwards."

One thing the third and fourth editions taught me is that I need to not run modules, and one related thing in my favor is the amazingness that is the fifth edition Dungeon Master's Guide. If I do run D&D, I'll likely use the DMG to build my campaign and design my adventures. The plan would be to create a homebrew setting, semi-on-the-fly. I'd lean on my players for background information. For example, if a player selected a cleric, they'd help me design their deity.

If I run it, I'll report on the whole journey here.

Until next time, do good, avoid evil, and play more games!