søndag den 4. oktober 2015

Multiple Gamemasters

On November 21st 2015 we'll have a couple of people visiting us to discuss a potential new D&D 5th edition group. What's so special about this group is that we'll be setting up a game where we'll each take turns being the GM (GameMaster) so we're literally moving GameMastersDK from the internet to the table.

Past Experience
This is not the first time I've tried to run a game with multiple gamemasters. I've tried this without luck several times over the past few decades. One specific example was the creation of Jaydell, which is so far the most successful multiple gamemaster campaign I've run.

Sifting through my big pile of old RPG notes I quickly find the few notes I kept from the game that I created with a friend but never got around to playing with players. Both me and my friend Cordell had played Dungeons and Dragons for many years with a variety of friends. We had taken turns being the DM and it was therefore only logical that at some point we would start working on a project together and create a setting and a campaign where we could run one game with two DMs. We decided that we would take turns being the DM and that the first step would have to be to create a world together.

We quickly settled on a name for the world, Jaydell, which is a combination of my name "Jay" and his name "Cordell". We created a very simple map with mountains on the west, a single river flowing east to a swamp in the distance across the Plains of Peace. In the southern parts of the mountains we created a town called Torelyr, and south of the mountains and Torelyr was a large forest. This was the basis for our setting. Cordell created the deities, creating 4 gods and 3 goddesses. He named them all, and we settled on an elven pantheon because Cordell had a thing for elves. Personally, I have a thing for dwarves, and I therefore created Dest-Cordell, a dwarven stronghold within the mountains where my character Morak would come from. Inserting this dwarven element into an elven setting would make great sessions. Finally, we inserted a human empire that lay far to the east that was only spoken of but never interacted with.

There was a lot of disagreement but in the end we created the setting together. We never got any further. We had the players and the group. We had both created our own characters but we had to create the games, adventures, and sessions as well. We had very different ideas of how to do this, and in the end we never agreed and therefore never started the game. Our largest dispute in this matter was how to transition from one DM to another.

New Group
I have always enjoyed playing RPGs with my wife. I met her through World of Warcraft and including her in our D&D sessions has been a joy. Due to work, we had to relocate 100 km west, which meant that playing rolegames became much more difficult. We tried to make it work, but when we had our daughter we had to set everything on hold. We finished any games we had running before the birth of our daughter.

More than half a year has passed since then and we both miss playing TRPGs. I have started the Extra Life project since we had already agreed to run it in 2014. I also have a 3.5 D&D mid level game on stand-by, which I'll start working on this winter. My wife doesn't like D&D 3.5 and she's therefore not part of that game. When she saw people from nearby communities posting on Facebook about looking for a group to play some TRPG, she quickly wrote back that we were interested. One of our friends, Johnny, took the reins and started planning everything. With a baby girl we didn't have the time or overview to plan any details.

In the end we gathered 6 people, 5 of which comes from the nearby communities. We decided to play D&D 5e and to create a group where we would take turns being the DM. Only two of us have extensive experience being a D&D gamemaster. Even my wife hasn't tried it with a larger group, and she volunteered to being the first DM. You might therefore read and see footages from Pinkpulse in the coming weeks and months about this.

On November 21st 2015 we are going to meet up, get to know each other, set up the basis for a game with multiple DMs and create our characters.

Hopes and Expectations 
I hope that this project will be more successful than my previous tries. Instead of creating a game with two DMs, we're creating a game with six DMs. I hope it'll be fun to play and fun to DM, and that everyone will be flexible enough to accept that we both play and master the game very differently. I also hope that people will be open to actually being the gamemaster for two or three sessions, and that everyone will be okay with the fact that we had a baby girl and that we'll only play once a month.

I expect that our first meeting will mainly be about getting to know each other outside of TRPG. Playing rolegames shows another side of a person, and I therefore think that it's important to know the real person as well. I expect we'll talk about how to set up a game with multiple gamemasters and that we'll create characters. I have no ideas or expectations concerning the party we'll create.

I expect that we'll play once, sometimes twice per month. I expect that we'll take turns being the gamemaster with Pinkpulse starting out, followed by Johnny, then myself, then anyone else who volunteers. I expect each gamemaster to host games for 2 months (2-3 sessions). I expect that most will create their own little setting that we can put together to one large setting after one year of playing together. I also expect some DMs to actually take things that other DMs have created and expand on them. It will definitely be an interesting project that you will hear more about on this blog.

Next week (week 41 as they call it here in Denmark), I'll be writing about how I started playing D&D and how I became a gamemaster. I'll cover my early years, my first groups, my first world, and my first challenges. If you have ideas on articles that we should write about, let us know on our Facebook page, or leave a comment.

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