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Triple Advantage
Triple Advantage

Season 3, Episode 9 · 1 year ago

Bonus Action - DM Profile: David

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

On this Triple Advantage bonus action, we sit down with David, the author of the new 5e module Into the Jaws of the Mimic Queen. We discuss the background of this module, his experience writing with the Royal City Society, his thoughts on theater of mind combat, and how he structures his campaigns.

Welcome everyone to an episode oftriple advantage. This is a bonus action episode where we bring on Ar ourgues star David, who has just created a new module for the Royal City Society M,we're hoping that we can get some insights and talk to Hem about this exciting newthing Um, it is called, I believe, Tha into thejaws of the Mimic Queen David. Why don't you tell us a littlebit about that sure thanks for aving Meon, guys Um Yeah? This is a an adventure module Umfor levl of five players that we've all developed have delped with you guys inthe real city society and it's based on an old adventure thatI ran for some of my players probably about five years ago, and itwas one that a Kanof ran off the cuff at the time and my player seemed tolike it and I always had a soft spot for it. So when I was Givin theopportunity to to work with you guys to writesomething I I was like: Let's do it. This is the one l ilel's do this one I was I was. I was super excited to towork on this with you day, ecause you and I have been talking Toinde for alittle bit now. Yeahyeah Y mimix. I'm curious- and I know likethe obvious answer s by noutmarics, but wh, mimix or Um. I feel like they're. Almost a scourgeof players like everybody's got a mimic story, so I'm wondering why MimicSpecifically Peaque your interest, uh honestly they're kind of a classic Dend monster and at the time I've been I've been a DA more than I'm in aplayer, but at the time I hadn't played against mimics or ranmimix, and I figured well. I was just kindaf kind, O working on this adventure and Iy players. KINDOF went off off the you know off the rails a little bit and Ikinda to make things up. I kind of decided on the spot, like I haven'tever used IMEX before, like they're kind of a ubiquitous sdunders anddragons thing like. Why? Don't I try and use them Um that that wasreally it as far as mimics go, and I don't really have much more of arational than that that and I like the movie monsterhouse, so I was, I was wondering not not to spoilanything for for those that have not yet ridn the Modurul, but there's athat was one of my first thoughts as I was reading through this adventure. WASTHAT CONNECTION UM? I do have a question. Actually yousaid you hadn't run it at that point. Have you used it since you ran thatfirst time with the Mimics Hav? Did you find that you, your players, reallyliked it, and so you started implementing mimics more into yourcampaigns or do you have to have like a really likegood setting for it? No, I think you can drop hein prettymuch anywhere. I haven't used mimic since I have a couple like when I run games.I have a couple staples that I use, but otherwise I try and only include thingsthat I haven't already run partially, because I have usually from the sameroster of players and all my games for the last Deneo decade, so they theyknow most of my tricks right and also just because it gets kind of borningrunning. You know your eight hundredth ork war. Chief fighting, you know whatI mean agree yeah. So I think after t after Iran, this adventure O my players.I was all mimicked out and I I don't think I' run them since maybe once ortwice it's a little off handed thing, but I don't think I've made anadventure around them. Since hat I'Veat, I've ran for my players at least now. I'm curious, you've kind of you'vekind of alluded to it a little bit, but you've you've been playing dad a lotlonger than the three of us and I'm pretty sure, a lot longer than thethree of us combined Um. How long have you guys plying Doyouhave what like three years, a piece...

...about? Does that Reconi sonhing likethat? Or has it been longer than that? I O I fee, like he, three or four yearsare you ancient is what we're asking II will not disclose my age H, doc Daveid on the Adyo Neverye,never ask a DM the range, but if you Uy jus complain, if you guyshave been playing for three years apiece I have been, I have been running games for longerthan all three of you guys combined y Nice Terrifyng, but my one of my biggest questions isUm. I know that you're a huge theatere ofmine person. Yes, when you run your games versus using actual combat batsyea and ' same for when we um I got together to do this adventureindto help you kind of flush it out o bit Um you you whad run. This is t a theaterof mine, correct! Yes, totally now the three of us are very battlemap oriented. I've been experimenting a bit more withtheatere of mind to mixe degrees op by choice, not by choice, but definitely I think that a lot of peoplealmost expect maps these days versus when they're buying new modules and newcontent. They pretty much expect mouths versus being able to kind of flesh itout in their minds. I'm wondering if there was any the challenges, be that you hadbringing the h bringing the master life and kind ofdescribing the sce and making the jump between a theatre of mind and actual mabping. Well that part of the adventure washandled more by the members of the Royal City Society that put iput o youguys for pulling all the he l all the heavy weight, Um 'cause yeah 'cause. Ido I do teeter the mind. I don't have a lot of experience with maps. I used touse them a lot when I ran three point: Five in fourth edition Um, but once Ithedition came out I'd just ditch them entirely and and never look back, Um and thosgh. It was like I I can't say Ihad handed in much of that. I I really treated you guys like a like a designfirm. I just Kinda went like hey. I want to be in here with this gun. Thisis what this area looks like, and then somebody made a map- and I went oh shit.Sick Thi is what I want antastic, which is fantastic because to anybodylistening, that's pretty much. What we're aimingfor WAMING TO HELP UM local people that we know right now,'cause, it's easy, but we're looking to just help. Whoever wants to get a storyout we're just trying to figure most of our tmming out is you might hear fromour regular podcast Um, but that's really just the goal to justconnect with the community. So it's been great to like hear new ideas,because I think, for the most part, we've all kind of fallen into themeswith or daming and unfortunately, Jo, haven't even gone to play m with you asa DM Yeah Yeah, Yeah O. I will do this one day, so it's always. It's been refreshingkind of working on these projects because or like sorry, just let meclarify it's Beteshig watching you guys work on these projects, UM, because it's it's really interesting just reading.So many more of these m ideas and adventures- and I can't help, but thethink M, with your experience and theatere of mind m one of thedifficulties that I'm having with my game, is that M it's hard to find like spacing likedescribing spacing and keeping that sort of in check. So I'vealways defaulted to maps to kind of keep where players locations are andhow far away they might be able to...

...interact withon another? How do youmanage that at your games and how do you m sort of help? Your playersunderstand your sort of wacky mechanic so that it keeps the flow of the gamegoing. Ah Good Question Um, I keep it very simple. I run my gamesvery fast and loose and if I can provide any insight, people who want toplay more tetr of the mind it's, I guess two, two main things and I'mI'm guessng we're talking more combats right, like when you're, when you'redoing you know going around town d and Yoo playing or whatever you don'treally. Everything else has like hazy time. You know, yeah things happenwhenever you want them to happen, but in combat you know it's a little bitdifferent yeah. So we still Tik turns we still do initiutive order, soeverything still takes six seconds per turn, orperound whatever it is. U, youcan tell how how strictly I am wit, the rule. I don't even know how long aroundis Um, but the two things a go by are at leastone's Wen, designing, encounters and ones when running them. When designing encounters. Instead of laying out a map, I will layout a FLACNORDA setting. So let's make up oneright now, like a a bar, we're going to have a bar fight right Um. So we knowthat it's in a Taver, it's in a a big room and then what you can do isand there's things that you always assume you know a tavern has rightsenehing if you ware to do it on like in in a swamp. You know, th what aswamp looks like n in the Taver, and everyone can reasonably as soon there'stables there stairs, there's bottles and glasses to be smashed. There's oAbar bartender patrons all that's there and then what you do is you you pickout. Um Key features that you want to add intothat kind of base setting dressing. So let's say it's a bar and we pickwhatever two three or if you really want, like more more um thinks so youcan sav theirs. Um, there's a big fireplace on one side:There's a chandelier hanging from the top ofthe room, there's like a second floor mezzanine where all the rooms are andtheire's Ah Adoor to the kitchen. I don't knowsommer like that. There's there a threefourish things right, um! Sothat's when I'm designing it. I I I make a point to include those things sonow in my head, my head's going and I'm like. Okay players can swing offchandeleers. They can jump off the top floor. They can kick people into thefire, they can sow people into other rooms or back out the bar or whatever,like there's things to do. They can cut t e Shandler down like there's, there'sthings they can interact with in tats environment, regardless of how where Iplace them, you know what I mean how far apart they are yeah and it alsogives them a point of like contact. I guess right so they can say. Okay, I amgoing to stand underneath the chandelier or something like that orexactly the fireplace exactly so now they know kind of. If I can explainlike you, walk into the bar to your right on the right wall as a fire, thebackwall is the bar above you in the center of the room, is a chandeleer and,on the left hand, side overhanging over the bar is the half second floor,Mesanine, where the rooms are, and now everyone kind of visualize. It and then,when I run the encounters um I run with a rule, and I honestly can'tremember where I found it and IW. I find it. I'Lli'll I'Li'll give themcredit M, but the the rule they kinda went. The Hen Outlie, it's called close,is close enough and far is too far away so, instead of it being like well howbig's the Bar- Oh well, it's fifty by forty five foot room. I don't care it doesn't matter. It'sit's you're, close you're, close enough. You want to run across thentir bar ansmack the bar tender. THAT'S SA! You want to start the fight perfect, I'mokay with it. I'm not gonna, I'm not going to force you to go like M. Well,actually you don't have enough movement to reach the end of the bar. It's IT'SFINE! You can do it. It's cool. Will your hand across bow reach the bad guyand Pat Hem against the wall. Sure? Why...

...not? It's cool m? Can you swing acrossthe Chandelier? Will you have enough lateral movement from your athleticscheck to do it if you're all high enough yeah sure, whatever I don't care,that's the kind of way that I rule it or im the combat's going to be like abig open space like a a battlefield or whatever you know an any kind of largelarge space. I'll, usually make a point of saying things are very far away, andand again I have the luxury of having playersthey've played it mem for a longtime, so they know my style but Um. I make a point o just say like it's toofar, there's not going to be like a Um. Iknow you were like some likesystems like O. can I cast fireball and I'llsay what's strange on virable and they they just give me a number and on myoff the top of my head I'll, be like yeah sure or no it's not. Are theyactually that distance? I don't know, but that will unset the distance if itneeds to be a precedent that needs to be met later right if they're out inout in the field, and somebody casts spell with a range of a hundred andtwenty feet and I say h yeah, I can hit that guy a now moving forward. I haveto keep a mental note that that guy is now within a hundred and twenty feet solater. Somebody's like I cast a spell that is, has a range of two hundredfeet. I can't say: Ah Wow, it's too far away from you, so it's a little bit of of mentaljuggling, but I try and keep it light on that because, to be honest, I haveenough to worry about well IDM, but that's whattat's really is, as you setup the the scene give the players things to play with, and then you justlet them do the things they want to do. I don't I don't try and restrict whatthey want to do. I don't to simplify it. I don't likemaking the India Tacico Game Er like making it a cinematic game. So I'm notgoing to restrict how much you can move, how long the ranges on certain thingsUm just just to I'm. Actually my playerswhen I can just say like yeah that sounds super sick go, do it that'll berad and let them do it like. Why would I not let them do it if I wanted to, iflike like as e d y n, O, whatever you want like? Why would you knot? Let yourplayers do cool Shit Mhm. So when you ran this encounter thefirst time, what kind of Cool Shit that end Tu plane do you remember? They ran the encounter h next to a cliff, so that was kind of my set up. Was the the the one of the encounters in this in thisadventure Um in this game that I was running in ortaking place next to a click, just a big canyon effectively, and that waskind of culled from Um, a boss fight from final fantacy tenthat I really liked that thought was really neat. So I I just wifted itstraight out of file Fani O ie GE thitis. What we're doing now this isthe setting for this this this thing, and in that case, that was the only a thing that I gave them to interactwith other than obviously the enemies Um. But in that case I made the enemiesthemselves, have more nuanced interaction, and I don't know ifthatwoull get into too much spoilers of of the of the module Um, but there wasa lot of of movement based abilities. I C use on both sides CAU. As soon asthe players came into this intense encounter, and they went. Oh, you know,there's a cliff there like. We don't have to fight this thing. F, we canjust push it and it falls three hundred feet to its death. You know what I meanUm, so giving them an option like that can even some even just one thing cangive them a really really good um alternative y yeah just ill turn up tojust like I hit it with my sword. I cast magic missile again Um. It canhelp make it a little R, more of a nuancen entertaining fight 'cause Ares,I concerned that's. The bottom line is entertaining everybody at the table. Myeah, that's Aon, eon about spoilingit. What what made this campaign, or...

...this particular module, that you ranstandout as something that you wanted to write with the rosity society? To be honest, it was one of the onlyones I could remember. I run I run a lot of adventures. I run a boatload of them about load ofcampaigns and there's there's a lot that Luc srctit's one of the one tha. I remember it's Oneof, those that are remember,really fondly Um 'cause, there's a lot that I I've ran that I I like, but I Iwould change a bunch like a lot. I wouldn't I couldn't just lift it out ofmy game a and and come to you guys and Meke could hack it out. It wouldrequire like a major overhaul Um. So it was one of the few ones that I thought could be used pretty prettyeasily and then Um. I think it was also because, like I said earlier, I justhadn't usedimic since so I just hadn't had a lot of time working with themsince that encounter or that adventure like five years ago or whatever it wasUm. So I figured hey. Why not? Why not just pull pull open the books again andtake a look at a how all this works and and revisit some classic D nd DeMonsters? I think my first experience with Mimicicond dated back to one of the first Um campaigns that Iran, which was um the Um, the extra little adventure of the minimodule. That's in Crsi Strad. I got to remember the name of this ThaDeathos, the death house. That's correct! Um. One of my players chose tojust um walk through a door and price through adoor. He means into a door like yeah. He h she described it in like a verycartoonish manner that his character wich as sort of coulaide man throughthe door standing up rice M, except this door happened to be a mimic Um and- and you wonder, we ask you to describedoors now. It's definitely got like a longlastingtraumatization effects with my party long earning friends, but I think thatthat first surprise with Um the mimic just kind of shows you how how howplayers are always. I don't know I feel like you're, neverreally expecting it or you're kind of a paranoid character. That's just likethinking everything around themis a mimic. You know I thinkthat think tsorry go ahead. I was getting you off, no Um go for it if yogot thought. Oh Sa,I feellike that comes down to how H it's presented and how H it slots intothe greater like narrative, 'cause at the very least like running a very mimic heavy adventure for myplayers Um. I can't say that they were likeparanoid after they weren't like Constantl, looking over their shouldersd like poking every every chudger chest in doorway with a ten foot poll, um there's a reference for old TDE, andeeplayers, but because I the way it was presentedwas at least like it wasn't just that they were walking around and like o. nosorry, this is IMIIC, you know, don't screw you you're getting eaten. It waskind of U like a self contained thing so when it wrapped up, they felt like okay. Well now, if I go open this chest like it's snockemimicunless there's another mimic story to be unfolded here, N, so at the veryleast, that's kind of how I've been able to rationalize how my players behavedafter a big adventure like that which, which makes sense. Honestly, I can'treally imagine wanting to to run as a player. That' is constantly like afraidthat a mimic is going to pop out and so by having it self contained. Withinyour campaigns. I think that's probably the best way to run it every now andthen maybe throw them like a surprise...

...or two but yeah you definitely don't Wan to likeyou know, have it so that the you know every five sessions there's anothermimic or something like that: Yeah, no, not LS! That's what they signed up forOwon Ye said t down in the beginning, like this is going to be a very mimicheavy campaign and like they're, the main antagonist and h Adiadiada, youknow and they all go. Okay, yeah. I want toplay that like. If they don't want to do that, then I wouldn't yeah. I Iwouldn't stick hem everywhere, just rest o them that just m me Wevo heardit I'm curious to David. You play withprimarily players that are quite experienced at theinde right H, yes,but I have had my fairshare of new dend players, com in and out wit, the years I'm thinking specifically when you ranthis modal when in this module I was playing with.If I can, access to memory banks here, Um, let's see here H, one two three experienced players at that point:they ad been playing for about five years so about as long as I had and then to non experienced players, one who hadliterally just started playing when this module or no one spotual. When Istarted running this campaign and one who had, I think it might have been- Ihis first campaign too, as a player, it may maybe maybe he'd run a couple of onshots of this beforehand before we kind of fully inducted him to the group M.But that actual first time I ran it, was a mix of new and old players. Okay,ECAUSE, I'm interested like you said, the mimic is kind of a quintissentialDindi creature, but I'm curious to see if there'd be a different reaction.VIZAV, absolutely scarting. Your players inti investigating everythingif it was like a very fresh new group of players, because if they, if theydidn't even know what to expect and all of a sudden they're being eaten by abed, I I know one of the players. When I wasplaytesting this H, one of them had never been faced with a mimic and they werethe one too investigate one of the objects that turned out tobe in Mimic Um and it it it started chewing on them and h the they took their attack torn to belike. I don't even know what to do. I'm just going to stand here and try andfigure out what this is, because I'm freefing out so MUC. So I I'm curious as to whether thismodule will be the reason why, like in Carless's campaign, peopleinvestigate the hell out of every door, that's describe just a little bit toowell, Oh yeah! I mean I don't know I I will.I think you should always reward the players that put in the extra effort tocheck everything to to cross all their teas and don all their eyes, whilethey're adventuring exploring, but on the same on the other side of that coin,I I do not want to be the person whose name is attached to a module that makesa Tal Sigler GMS one dms to never throw mimix intoeverything anything ever again and ruin friendships. I think thatwould be not fun and not cool. So please everybody don't take it that way. I think this has become a psychologicalexperiment. You know we're going to see. You know how many players can we scarfor life yeah, I ge, so I don't know we should. We should haverun like we should have thrown in a whole cast of of ruhshasas and DopplGangers and and devils theyd sign contracts with that would have made avery uh t trust breaching Um, yes Isurim, I ad mother. I think thatthe release of this is just well. I think wour Braian was alluding to, Ithink the release. This is just version...

...of one of it. This is if you, if you would like, ifyou can, keep this an open, ideration and just expand as new creativity flows.There Youe go yeah, we'll Mak, well, maxe sequels there you go mhm Um withregards to Um your module writing Um. I notice at at least this is a very sortof one shot. Um directed it s. You havelike two main quest lines right you're, either finding people that lead you toUm uh. I don't want to spoil it, but youknow you're ather pulling on a couple of very large thlematic narrativethreats. I don't want very generall here: Um, it's R, it's ultimately a rather quickand well packaged encounter. It doesn't let you get too carried away, Um and it definitely you can like. You candefinitely feel that you can complete this and the allotted time Um. Is that H, when you're writing stories?Is that something that you factor in to how your players are sort ofdiscovering their world? Is it? U Do you normally just let them roam freeor do you have these sort of h modules that you write to tie them through Um,where you kind of want to direct them Oma? This is going to be thiss, Goinn,be a long e Oki'm just going to transition this tothe first official DM UM sekag Allin, one packaged all in oneUm, so gone Um. Okay, the so! Oh repeat your question. Little Bit, Yorask me how Y O, what how do you use like? How do youdefine Um your players progression through thegame? Do you write in these little modules to keep them busy at times, ordo you write these two sort of guide them towards locations that your sort of buildingstory was sor? Like is, do you do you sort of let them sandbox or do you Umhave these um w? We were reading about this in theDMS man and the tms God, and it's just the like episodic nature of your writing style or all would letthem sandbox across Um, wherever they'd like to roam and you KINDOF, just pull from randomencounters um that I think there's there's KINDOF twoavenues there. The first is the episotic thing, which I only recently have realized as a thingand really want to try and do better is the actually pacing my d ND sessions ast v shows where there's like an Intro, a couplestory beets and then it ends on like a cliff hanger like like my favoriteshowever is battlesor of LAC to go and every single episode end on either acliffanger where you're like whoo. What's going to happen next, or it endslike a really nice warm and fuzzy resolution to an arc ora problem an only recently have I really realized that I'm like I can tryand do this my Dand Games so moving forward that that's what I try and doto pace my sessions, but as far as the narrative and theadventures ind, that kind of like sandbox versus railroad, verses likedrive them here, drive them theire thing. Um ow'sest would explain this. The way that I run my campaigns. Um is very fo, lack of better term layred. I don't mean I do not meanneance, I I will not use newes. I am...

...not a subtle person Um, but I willlayer them with layers of sandbox and railroad and sandbox and railroad andsandbox and railroad, and I usually start with a big overarking plot that Iwan to explore or run Um so h, for instance, the that thatcampaign that I was rining. I was thinking the wone o unning. Now I don'twant spoils N to any of my players in case they listend to this, but ha thatcampain that I was rintiid back then. The big big, big, big, big overarkingplot was there's a bunch of mind, flayers andthey're, trying to control the minds of everybody by placing these mguffins andincertain places e Amiplfying, their mint controlling powers, then subjectof the world. That's the big. You know make a character at to level twenty andand slay God. You know over our conti there, yes, and that was the first layer which is railroad.Is I don't care that is happening? You have to dealwith this problem right now. It's a problem, that's so enormous andnebulous that they can get there. However, they want right. So then Ibreak it down. Anto like okay. Well, what are you know? What are the theseMin fle eilifids objectives? And then I have thei objectives and I go like okay.Well, they gotta do these three things Tohave, the MIN flaers. Those thingsneed to be need to be done, those I guess railroad. They have to be done.IAX Yeah! How do they do them irrelevant? They can players can doever they want. If, like Fr Li, I trying to emember all the things oncan't. I can't remember CAS was a long time ago, but, like let's say it was Um. Oh, they had to return a certainartifact to a to a town, really simple fetch quest Um and they it was. It was being guardedby a noble who alwho also ran a a a really vicious mercenary truth. Iremember thiss correctly, and so this is one of the kind of thesmall little arks they had to do, or it was like Yo. You have to get this backUm in order to KINDOF continue the story and obviously, if they don't doit like, if my players go well, let's do something else. C They get sidetrackor something else. Then you know they don't do the thingbad stuff happens and then I'll find another story beat for them to to doright. It's not like it. It's they have to do it or else the game stops Um, buthow they do it is totally after them. It's not that I I don't write down thatthey have to infiltrate the Nobles House and steal the thing out of thisone spot, and then they have to escape from security as they chase after them.L K, no that's written out. That is all totally up to them on how they wantapproach it. They want to Schmooze it off of Hem in a party no get the infofrom hem there. They want heisted Ihis House. They want to wait for him totransport it somewhere and kill him on the side of the road like whateverthat's up to them. That's the sandbox and those have the knock onconsequences that Um that I don't know from the beginning and that I will thentake new account when adjusting all of the railroad at parts- and I kind oslowly do that more and more grand ulercs alternatingbetween like okay. Well, these things have to be done and and then how they're done is totally up to the players and I kind o keep going down untilevent. Shre I get down to the encounter level where that's when I can justpresent it to the Party and- and they can do the stuff, and then I knowwhatever they do. There is because they have full fullcontrol, an full standbox over what they do, and I know all the layyers that go upto the top. I can then track all the knock on effects where it's like. Ohthey do kill this guy, it's like! Well,...

...he answers to this person. It will beupset that this that he's dead and will want to go looking for whoever killethem. You know that old, slow down this bad guy'sproject, so this other thing will happen instead because he couldn't getto that. Like t the big you know, butterfly effect happens MHM once Ihave all those layers set in my overarking campaign Um. So that makesany sense Um, oh it to I make sense. I yeah hundred percent, you y agree withyou UM. The DM Kindo has to weave their story together with the players Um.That's just how you make a good story, I think, will I also share a little bit of deemnknowledge. I have picked up over the years. No player that I have ever encountered.I've ever ran a game for in hi. Sat at my table has ever wanted a one hundredpercent sandbox game, none of Hem Zero perse. They have said they did and assoon as you give it to them. You're like here's, the I have written thelower of this world and here is a map and here's everything and the entireculture. What do you want to do when they go um? I don't know it's something to do. What do I do? You know okay. Well now Igot a forster hand and I'm in a railroad, Jo and say: Oh there's, a afight breaks out here and you know whateverhm Um, so I feel like putting those layers in youcan direct the players and and they'll have you can talk to them ahead of timeR, like I usually talk my players ahead of time and say, like usually have astory I want to tell like I. I expect you to come to my tablewanting to play it it. You know I can give you like broad strokes, o what itis, so that you can, you know, understand if it's like a caled actionor like a more somethin huge one or whatever, and if you want to play it,you can, if you don't it's all good Um and then that social contract ht the beginningof I talk to them, is like we're going to kind of work together to do this sothat it doesn't end up that, like you know, here's a total free sand box andthen everyone just kindof tiddles her thumbs and does nothing for you know afive hour sect s or you end up in a murder, hoboo campaign or you an murder,Obo campair doyou be like that sometimes Um. Yes, the H. I I had thatexact problem. Actually, it's nice to gin a hero, loud you're, you're,rational behind that 'cause. I had that exact problem. Last Thursday, an I campain Um, where'cause I I'm trying to. I did the same thing when I started up this campaignhat morning. I essentially created a very comprehensive world with severaldifferent leads in it and several differentthreads in a world where you know they c consequences mean something andeverything kind of ties back, O everything else and I kind of set themoff on one specific starting clot line. But beyond that I was like you know the world's written go as you please, you'll run into something and you'llhave something to do, and one of my players last week was was very stuckfor something to do and it it was a situation where theywere in the the the capital of this world where there's literally anythingthey can do. I'm just like well yeah go go ahead anddo anything L. What can I do well anything Yeh, but what yeah exact? I literallymean anything, Pick pick what you want to do. Well, I don't know Kidit, okay,yeah yeah, exactly that's exactly it! Something iler! Sorry go ahead! No. Iwas jus like it's nice to it's nice to hear you talk about that 'cause. I wastrying to figure out how to wripe myself out of that one in the moment,and it did not happen so yeah, that's that's. The tough thing to do iswriting yourself out of something like that out of out of a zero leads hscenario: Is it's always tough to do um? What I was going to say was I somewhony.I've learnt and I've done in the last two campaigns that I've run is don't be afraid to pause the game...

...and littlers ask your players to makeit to do list. That's what happened in my last session of this current Campign,I'm running is they've been doing a bunch of stuff and I've been kind ofrun, inthrough the story, and there came a point where they were like. We don't know what the priority is herelike. We have a lot to do and I mean that's kind of on me for not notplaying my cardis perfectly straight here, but they kindof like there's alot going on, that we can deal narratively, but we don't know what thebest thing to do is so I just paused the game and I like, let's make it todo list just John all down to his paper like what are we going to do? Oh, wegotta stop the Gods from dying. We got TA, Stop US litch. We got a visit, ourbar, that we found in a building. I have a set of platemaile that I orderedyehead. Yet, like all these individual things, a matter how big or how small,so that any time that does come up when everyone goes like whatdol, we do theyjust pull upt the piece paper and go like Oh at's. What pick something?Let's just th this one! Oh we gotta go this place. Okay, this loce end, let'sgo tieid off and then at the very least you can keep the game moving. 'causethat to me is more important than making a cocoherent narrative at theend of the day, 'cause like it's always going to getall goofed up, because every po every table of players is going to just youknow, massacre your story beyond recognition Um, so I would rather have them entertainedand do the work in the background to kind of make it all tight al together,Um, but keep them keep them moving and and doing something in in the in thethe immediate time Um. Just so, there's not a lot of dead table time over and over and over again, becausethey can't decide what to do or they don't have they on'. They're, not awareof an option. That's o often a big thing is that you, you present them withinformation or stuff, and then they just kind of forget about it or don'think up on something Um. So you know working with them to make to do lists.Um can help a lot in the in the last campaign I ran. I I formatted it morelike a a quest menu like in Um like in the witter like, which arethree Um 'cause. A bunch of my players had played that. So we we literallyjust made it like a a drop down menu of like here's. Here's the one objectiveline of like go here and talk to this person like that's it. It's not like ayou know. The nobles in this city have wh t tat' just go talk to Bob. That'syour objective, like don't worry about! It, go talk to Bob and then that willfeed into this big rip jacket, which is figure out how to get Bob to d XA atlike that kind of stuff Um, and I I feel like it, it's something that I'veseen a lot of D, MS, like online dehazidant aboutbecause it feels like it's going to break your immersion and like it's not authentic, N and D, You know, but it itkeeps you game, rolling, it's functional! I'M ABOUT FUNCTIONS! So I'm, okay! Youknow pausing the game for thirty seconds to let the players pick anobjective and go rint Thi. Now, okay, cool everything else will be on pauseand you can go. Do this thing if you want, you know Um just to keep keep the table moving. Um Yeah, I on't know that's my thit's, myramble, I'm an Oen old man raveling. He it'sfunny that you mentioned that ethe entire time that you are saying dropdhown an my head's going. That sounds phenomenal, but then t at the same time.I'm thinking I wonder what Jordan's thinking about this right now jor Doyou, have word honestly well. Carless is only pointing this outbecause I am more of a pen and paper Guy Myself. So,but in recent you know the recent times nowadays, a lot of mysuff has had to beonline and stuff like that, so having dropped on menus and stuff like that,not a huge issue Um,...

...but I I yeah. If I were to, I don't know I don't know running awhole lot: N N, when I say dropd own menus, I mean like, like I got in likeprograming Uy F, my playeroh okay. It was Li like a word dog, and it had likethe bullet points and the sum bullet point t um e, like like really fancything here again. Nuance is not my o winwors, okay, it's yeah, so I wouldthen I'm totally on boared, with what you're doing there like. I love making sure that the players know whatthey're doing or have options at least Um, I'm I'm. When I created my campaign,I started the same as you overarking theme, followed by what are thedifferent bad guys or like larger players at in this world, followed bywhat are their objectives? Okay, how can they perform these objectives? Whatkind of locations are involved here? How can I get the players on board withthis? What are different threads that theycan pull in this area and somehow lead them onto this sort of trail, not like very broad trailed, but stilla trail of some sorts going towards certain objectives, or something likethat. I I I am all for making sure the players like have some sort of a plangoing forward mind you I play with a lot of newplayers and I think that'ssomething you should have for new players Um, because again, they're notentirely sure what is available for them. So for more experienced players, theymight have an idea like. Oh, I want to go and do this in the world becausethey know that's a thing they can do. Yeah yeah, that's that's kind of whatinspired it for me was that my my last Gei was earning the GAM im. buningright now is only experienced players, but that last campaign right the firsttime I did the Todo List N. I had a guy who had never. Actually I I had a fewpeople who had never played dnd before in their line like th oll exposure waslike. You know. The Community episode of D N D, or whatever, like Yo, they had no idea how it worked andthey came P, a point where one of them just told me W. Like I don't know whatto do is like I've been doing this for so long like I forget what it's like tobe new at the game and I feel like if he, if he had had brought hat up tome, I think our game would have suffered so I'm glad he did and then Ithat's something I think I'm going to carry forward and every game I run fromnow on experience or not like they don't have to yeah it the Tona, if theyever want to yeah, well guys yeah ight. So every time that I talk tothese guys, I always try to splice in a little bit about how I try to interpret game mechanics and one of the bigthings that I like to do is Um. I like changing the way the game feels,if that makes any sense to you, um sort of a quick change in rules that mightmake it easier for a player to connect with a character or connect with thescene Um. So I was wondering since you love running theatre of mind.How do you um drive your players immersion in thegame w? What do you mean by that Um? How do you keep them sort ofentertained in the story? Okay, Um. It's IT'S UM! As far as ave experience, it's reallyit comes down to keeping them having a clear goal thatthey can work towards which I also I should be the first tomit thatsometimes I I toll the goofe let up,...

...and I I I make things way too messy formy players, so I apologize ton, my players for whenever that happens, buta tree try and make it clear where it's like. Oh Go, sto this go, do whatever and to be totally honest when I, when Istart new campaigns, I I have like a preamble. I do everysession zero, even if the people have played with me before, and it goes over.The like this is going to be generally like apulp action adventure game where it's Kinda hats I goofy, but like a littlelighthearted Um, usually pretty self like e big oerorking PLO,there's a lot of like self contained stories and whatever, and they know going into the game whereit's like they don't need to. You know it's not like they. I describea scene and they can, like you know, smell the bread from the bakery in townD, and here the the whistling of the Pan, flutes from the Bard on MC street.Corner like like that to me is not is not what Mi my games are about. I knowsome people are very good at that, but, like that's, never been my forday Um.So for me it's keeping things like keepinings moving, keeping thingsentertaining with like a fun cast of characters. Interesting locations H factions that people want to know more about and big on,providing my players in a world or prunting a world to my players with alot of factions, good bad and otherwise that way they every time a new piece ofinformation plows comes forward. They can always be like. Oh, I wonder howthat affects x, why's that and the other this person this faction, thislocation, whatever M, THAT'S KINDAF! How I do it! I'm not like I'm, not aparticularly good describer of things. It's not like! I'm a map. Mercer, whocan you know, get you sooning over? You know an NPCor whatever, like I'm, not I'm not like a an expert at that. Um To me, as far sengagement goes is, is yeah. It's going back to what I'we saying earler likeentertain my players. That's it Um, because t e pe the people who play atmy table are the ones who, like fast pulp, action adventure stories, not role playingnuants. You know if, if a character M E, an NBC they'retalking to changes demeanor a little bit fromscene to scene- or you know, one tend to see into the other time like they're,not going to call me out on it because they know that's not really what it'sabout. You know what I mean m so stuff like that, like I have alittle leway with so I I don't know if I'm I'm the best to Kindaf answer thatquestion for you hin. I have, I don't know yeah no well,it's it's more SOI eget like how the game runs at your table. I guess rightit's about how everybody sort of keep struckin along the story, whether Mit's because they're inspired to do so by the Narradivev eloments of it orwhether it's m you kind of keeping a little bit of a clearer path for them.Like you mentioned Um, it's just an interesting thing that I always liketo consider because, like ultimately riht when you're writing these stories,when you're sort of creating this- I guess Um in my head,it seems more like Uh. It's just game design! Right, like you're you're,creating this like a Mani, little game engine of how, like people are supposedto traverse this world, you know or sory por module or whatever Um. I don'tknow if I don't know if I agree with that, I don't think I feel that way atall. When I really writeoa Games, I don't think of it as a yeah as a gameengine or like a medium for my players to I don't know yeah, I don't. I don'tthink I don't know. Maybe I'm not interpreting what you're sayingcorrectly, but I feel like I I I feel my answer is like Na, like not aPlicablo, that's far, Soly Fair! No,...

...like I mean for me, it's it's for me. It's all about the design of ofthe world and I'm trying to get better at timing, encounters and um sort of beingable to h, O thi Um being able to create littlechunks of my world in a manner so that when my players Reversee, I kindof havelike the prep for those little locations M. So, for me, I kind of think of the game, at least for Mideum world building cellas like a little mini engine of like Um decision trees. For example, I loveusing decision trees to rate the lare o where players can travelbecause it makes it really easy for me to say. Oh, if they're going to thisregion right to have this list of encounters here and to me that helps me sort of movethis story along. So I guess Oly it. It's o no Yeah M. my answer is: Is isnope absolutely not Ho! I'm a big exist. I I'm a big improve guy. I start thatthat's, that'snot correct! I don't do improve, I'm not like A. I don't go to impr schoolor take classes or Ta partimprodactivities. I have friendswho do improve, so I wande can distinct distinction because I am not on theirlevel Um, but a lot of my um design of locations or nbcs or or likeregion an sff thi that kind of ore talking about where it's like. Oh, theycould go here like recently. In my current game, my players went to thecapital, which is like a a holy city. It's a theocracy, Um and I didn't know what was in thecapital until they decided to go there at the end of a session. They were likeyou know what let's go to the capital, and I went all right like I. I knew thestory was event they're going to take them there, but I never. I ons. I don'tsend my time H, writing down the what, if b beforesessions happen, I'll just write down what I hope or expect them to go forand more often than not. I keep a Googledock for every single session that I run and more more often than not. MyGoogle dogs are are pretty blank because I'll write something be like.This is what I expect them to do and then obviously the'll go in anrotherdirection because that's ha done to the dragons works and then that's it I'll.Just we'll just go and roll with it there, and I don't have a really deepconnection with my world, where I can know exactly like. Oh they go to thisregion. This is going to happen, so maybe there's a little. You know alittle hick up along the way, I'll just throw in a some tiny encounter or whatever to bide.You know five minutes, so I can think up something in my head. Whill, I'mjust rolling dice behind a screen, an go like yeah Yo. You kill he or goodjob Um and then once it's ready to go theyI'll they'll. Do the thing like it's? It's not! I don't know O. I don't knovethe overarking story, Yeah Yeah, I kno. I Don' I don't premen it had a lot ofthe locations in something that well. This doesn't really have anything to dowith like the story aspect of Ma like I I care about this story of the game,but I just find the comfort of knowing Um the locations that the players Aveavailable to them. I find oget Hat Lik. For me, it's just more of a Oh you'regoing there perfect, I kind of already know the description and that might bebecause largely um the longest run in campain. That I've done is two ofannihilation and for the most part, the last dungeon there's no way that I canjust leave that as like well I'll, just figure out each each each dungeon thatthey or like each door that they go into as they get there because there'straps in there that will literally kill the party right away Um. So I've halearn everything iffr a different yetting. That's, I think they prove theTob of annihilation. I don't know F it'SSN in general T S, I don't know ifit's because theyre that experience...

...with the dungeon, like with thatdungeon that sort of like overflowed into the general worldbuilding now, because now like W, I think of regions.I'm like Oh, like these are the key spots, and these are the little ine Ithink, of kind of like a Mario World. If you remember like Mao threewords hat,you have the little dots across that's Kindo. How I think of like my regionsand each dot has a couple of encounters in it that I can just kind of pick fromUm yeah. I don't know. Do you make a big world map before you runyour GAM kin just do like Um like o. You know s like brain mapping,APS and stuff, like that, like Ike, a spiderweb kind of map yeahlike that, that's pretty much what I use thatrepresent like location in likedistance or just really just how things are it's not even about distance. It'sjust ow G, the location like AGSTN 'cause. I don't like the travel. I Idon't like the Tal Person Y overland travel. Do you just you justget there? It's fine! I I try to do it in Chelf and it's abysmal right. It'ssupposed to be raining like three out o four days there there's disadvantageeverywhere, like the party's going to get nowhere. If I don't just like H,here's the wind go umu, but so over that I kinda don't rear trinkabout travel too much at least yeah fair. I think I think travel unlessthere's something narratively you want to do duringtravel like the party gets ambushed by this specific action because they aregoing to play into the story at some point and you want to introduce them orwhatever right Um. Unless that happens, I see I hate you know. Oh you tryvingthrough the woods for nine days, Iam going to roll ad twenty every singleday, and I have a random encounter table and you're going to fight threegoblins this day and one dour plus one wolves, the next like. No, I no onecares like past level like three it's their trivial right like I got a partyof level nine adventures now like there's, nothing, that's GOINGTA standin their way in a random and countertable traveling overland Um, sothey just go places. They just say I want to go to the capital. Okay, ittakes you two weeks to ride there you're there now but it'sar, like the the feelingcomfortable going back to that feeling comfortable in the locations that you that you invent for me, revers, like I'm, also verylazy. So I don't like to sit down on my computer and like type uter novel ofall, the Lowe of all my cities and wherverthing is and the districts andwho the noble families are like, like that to me is not is not a fun time forme personally, I know people do enjoy it. I have some friendly doit Um. This is Scurfos limel bullet point yeah, exactly yeah. I will. I will goin with like a couple of bullet points, or I will only make the locations that tiein to the story like in my current campaign. There are at least thet havebeen visited, two cities. There is the capital which is where the theocracylives, and there is another city called Padun where the PCs were, they startedit. That's it and everything else is like a village, a hamlet, a shack in the woods like theree thingsthat are small enough, that you can just Kinda make up- or at least I canjust kind of make up off the s on the spot. But when it comes to the biglocations like, I have other ones that I have waiting in the wings for Wene.Eventually my players get there or choose to go there, whatever stumbleupon them, but they are there's no they're only there, because they canserve a purpose to the story like like there there's a stronghold to the eastthat I have that's on the map and it's it's thereand it's ready. They haven't gone there they've heard about it a couple oftimes, but it's...

...only there so that when they go there,it's like thinking like a video game. When you have like a quest trigger youhave to talk to this person or walk past this invisible wall, and then thegame goes Yep. This is now the next thing happening Tyadiadiada, so Idoesn' ECESARY to e like the next step of the story, but it's some part of thestory only gets kicked off when they go there andit's never. There's never a point to go to you know large metropolis x when theonly thing there for them is like everything in a normal metropolis, butnothing else. You know like, like that's nice, that it's a lot of stuffbut there's no reason to go there. You knowwhat I mean like there's a reason to go to the capital, because the storyrevolves around the theocracy and and the religion that everybody worships inmy game, so there's a reason to go visit and like talk to priests and dowhatever and Ydiadiada see how the people work Um. But if it wasn't atheocracy and the gaement revolved around religion, there'd be no reasonto even include the capital in my world building. I would just move the capitalsomewhere else or or make it that first city that they are in. You know what Imean like it's. I only add stuff to my world if I'm going to guarantee to useit in my story. Otherwise it's something small. I can whip up off offthe cuff. I don't know if a help or not is certainly helped. Um and it'certainly confused a little bit, but I think that's, U thinkit's part of the interpretation oflike how how everybody sort of runs their game yeah. It's so personalthat, like I, don't expect anybody to listen to me and go like Oh yeah.That's exactly how I want to do it like it's. It's a very personal process:likeoting your frequency and Likewe're. The same now, yeah thatbut. It's always good to heardifferent perspectives so that you can kind of incorporate different piecesthat you thought. Oh yeah, hey. That sounds like something that would makemy game better, so yeah yeah. I do agree with that as having morevoices in perspectives is always good, whether you agree with them or not M, Ista it's nice to hear them and and take them under advisement Um yeah. This has been a great conversation. Ithink we're officially coming up on the point where we're longer than most fulllength: trivle Advanc asaid e whichis, which is awesome. This was a great talk,but unless anybody has any final questions, I think we're bout ready towrap this s good who well in that case David, ithas been absolutely lovely. I think our thior plessure thanks for coming on, going back to why we were here in thefirst place. Remember everybody into the Jasof themimicqueen is availablenow on DM's, Gild, search for into the Jazmimoqueen or David, by name or search for Rosa's society. Any of thosethree you will be able to find David'SBODUL along with the rest ofthose that are published by Real Satys Society Sid than that m sorry, last last, ittlething David. Anything that you would like to plug does not have to be theendrelated, just Oles as you're passionate about Oh sure Um. I am currently working on a solo death, metal project for all udndmetal, nerds, um called world leaders. I have my first demo made completelydiy. It was a quarantine project. It's on band camp world, eaders, DT, BanCamp Dotcom, I'm currently working on on a split cassette with another gwelfband called Hell breather and that will be out whenever we get our shittogether, um to release a super chidy cassette, Um, big ARTI on thosefields, yeah Um yeah, if you, if you...

...like, boltthrower, that's baned, if youlike them, you will like my music 'cause. All I do is rip Hem off, sogive it a listen. Give it a buy it buy it give me money,so I can pay for all these records I like to buy as SAS a big world leaders fan. I can.I can second that Plok, so everybody lettnk go check out David stuff on DMSGILD, go check out world eaters. Let him buy his records stay tuned for a new episode of tripleadvantage. Coming on Monday will catch you next ta.

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