Saturday, May 30, 2015

30 Days of D&D Day 30: Best DM You've Had

Well, it's the last day of the 30 day D&D challenge. I'm glad you came on this journey with ended up being far more nostalgic at times than I'd anticipated!

So today I'm talking about the best DM I've had. It occurs to me that throughout the month, I never actually mentioned what "DM" stood for; I assumed you'd known the lingua franca. But, "DM" means Dungeon Master. It's a role which also might, depending on the system, be referred to as the Game Master or the Storyteller. Same dude. He's the one telling the story, the one who comes up with the setting (if not using one of the published ones), the one who runs the NPC's (non player characters), the one who runs the enemies and monsters when combat occurs.

Characters are important, but the DM is obviously the lynchpin of the whole deal. We players can make our own fun, certainly, but the DM's descriptions and stories are what keep us coming back and rolling those dice. And the best DM I've had? It's my fiancé, Jim.

Many, many of the characters and situations I talked about this month were in games Jim ran. It isn't like I've had other DM's (and I do hope they don't feel terribly slighted....), but Jim's stories and gameworlds are what mean D&D to me, and the experiences against which I measure other games. I credit him for my gaming demeanor, the seriousness with which I try to approach a table. His love for police procedurals, among other things, lend to a complexity of story that has on more than one occasion stumped me, though I do like to think my problem solving skills are improving. I enjoy the challenge of trying to figure out the crux of the matter, and trying to tease out the core of the story. I'm very good at seizing upon red herrings, you see.

Jim can create NPCs that you love and adversaries that you hate, and people on that shady line where you question whose side they're on and what their motivations are. When he was running the Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil, he did so in his homebrew world rather than Greyhawk, and it was seamless. I still don't know what he added and changed and what's written down in the adventure. Really, I think I'm happier not knowing.

I look forward to many more games with Jim, both with him as my DM, and as a fellow player on the occasions he's on "my" side of the table.

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