Friday, August 17, 2018

a little wisdom

Found this quote while doing some research wholly unrelated to D&D type stuff:
The good craftsman seeks out the commonplace and tries to master it, knowing that originality comes of necessity and not of searching.
That's from Edward Johnston's book Writing and Illuminating and Lettering.  Johnston (pictured) is a founding figure in the revival of calligraphy as an art form at the end of the 19th century.

Johnston's remark strikes me as equally applicable to the craft of DMing.  You don't need to strive for a unique style or an individual approach since your own personal way of DMing will emerge spontaneously through an accumulation of seemingly insignificant decisions you make over the course of play.  This is why you don't need to start out with your own special take on, say, orcs.  Twenty sessions into an orc-heavy campaign and you'll have your own local version of orcs pretty much whether you like it or not.

I've seen similar advice offered to illustrators working in comic books.  Don't worry about your unique style at first; do enough drawings and it will appear.